Traditional Japanese chair with a zabuton and a separate armrest
A zabuton (座布団) is a Japanese cushion for sitting. The zabuton is generally used when sitting on the floor and may also be used when sitting on a chair. In a more casual setting, the zabuton can be used in conjunction with a zaisu(座椅子?), a type of Japanese legless chair, with or without an accompanying kyousoku(脇息?), a Japanese-style armrest. Ordinarily, any place in Japan where seating is on the floor will be provided with zabuton for sitting comfort. A typical zabuton measures 50–70 cm (20–30 inches) square and is several centimetres thick when new.
Zabuton are found throughout Japan and enter many aspects of the culture.
In Zen meditation, practitioners sit on zafu, which is typically placed on top of a zabuton. The zabuton cushions the knees and ankles.
In sumo, members of the audience throw zabuton toward the ring after the upset of a yokozuna by a lower-ranked wrestler, despite the dangers.
In rakugo, performers are not allowed to rise from their zabuton for the duration of their skit.
In yose, notably on the long-running television show Shōten, comedians receive zabuton as a form of scoring.
In jidaigeki, according to a stereotype, the boss prisoner in a jail cell receives all the zabuton from his or her cell mates.