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Chabudai in a traditional setting
In use, circa 1900

Chabudai (卓袱台 or 茶袱台 or 茶部台) is a short-legged table used in traditional Japanese homes. The original chabudai ranged in height from just 15 cm to a maximum height of 30 cm.[1] People seated at a chabudai may sit on zabuton or tatami rather than on chairs. The four legs of a chabudai are generally collapsible so that the table may be moved and stored easily.

Chabudai are used for various purposes, such as study tables, work benches, or dinner tables (shokutaku (食卓、しょくたく)). In the winter, the chabudai is often replaced by a kotatsu, another type of short-legged table equipped with a removable top and a heater underneath.

Chabudai gaeshi[edit]

Chabudai gaeshi is a Japanese phrase meaning to flip [the] chabudai. It describes the act of violently upending a chabudai as an expression of anger, frustration, and disapproval. Chabudai gaeshi may also figuratively describe an analogous outburst and upheaval.

Video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto "upends the tea table"[clarification needed] whenever a game's development didn't meet his standard or needed serious reconsideration. He characterized chabudai gaeshi as an "action of old-fashioned Japanese fathers" that "would destroy the family" if attempted literally in modern Japanese society.[2][3]

A Japanese arcade game, Cho Chabudai Gaeshi, is based upon the scenario of chabudai gaeshi.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hiroshi Ogawa (ed.). "The Origins and Transition of O-zen" (PDF). Supporting Roles in Food Culture II.
  2. ^ Serrels, Mark (2013-06-17). "When Was The Last Time Miyamoto 'Upended The Tea Table?'". Kotaku. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-09-28. Retrieved 2006-10-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2011-11-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]