oshi-ire: closets


how to fold futon bedding

Every morning, fold the futon into thirds exactly as shown. Don't roll it up.


putting away bedding into closet

Then, put away the futon mats as well as all the blankets and pillows into the oshi-ire (closet for bedding).


closet with bedding folded inside

Now, the room is uncluttered and ready for other uses during the day, such as eating, studying or working at the table, entertaining guests or watching TV. Remember that traditional Japanese rooms are all-purpose rooms.

Oshi-ire are not just any kind of closet, but especially deep, spacious closets large enough for putting away futon bedding. (Remember, Japanese bedding is folded and put away every morning, and brought out every evening).

The word oshi-ire comes from two verbs: osu or oshimasu which means "push," and ireru or iremasu which means "to put in." These closets are called oshi-ire because you "push in" the bedding to put it away. Therefore Japanese oshi-ire are much bigger than closets in Western-style houses which are often only large enough to put away clothes and smaller household items.

Note that oshi-ire doors are almost always sliding fusuma doors.

Design features of a traditional Japanese house

tokonoma: decorative alcove | genkan: entryway | shoji and fusuma: paper wall panels | butsudan: Buddhist altar | kamidana: Shinto altar | ofuro-ba: bathing room | oshi-ire: closets

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