@The refreshing fragrance of tatami makes many of us feel relaxed and comfortable. The soft but firm texture is perfect for walking on or for taking a nap. Traditional Japanese culture and sports cannot do without tatami; in tea ceremony, for example, where everyone is subject to the strict rules of etiquette, the host and guests know where to sit or where to place the tea utensils based on how many meshes they are away from the border of the tatami. Judo is practiced on tatami specifically made for sports. Without tatami, neither of these could have developed into their present form.

Tatami consists of three components;
@ Surface material : tatami-omote
The surface of tatami is covered with tightly woven rushes called tatami-omote. Over 4,000 rushes are woven into a tatami-omote. The old English expression gnot worth a rushh means gof no valueh, but for the Japanese a rush has been very useful and valuable. Rushes have a tough outer cover, and the inside is filled with sponge-like fiber. The spongy substance contributes to creating the unique texture of tatami.

A Inner core : tatami-doko
The core of tatami is traditionally made of rice straw and is about 5.5 centimeters thick. The rice straw core offers proper firmness and allows air to pass through it, but nowadays compressed wood chip boards and polystyrene foam are more common. Thatfs partly because the new materials are lighter than the rice straw, which, in addition, have become difficult to obtain since the mechanization of harvesting.

B Border material : tatami-beri
In order to bind the core to the surface, fabric called tatami-beri is attached to the edges. Its color and design used to be regulated in accordance with social position and family status. The fact that tatami-beri indicated a familyfs social status was one of the reasons why stepping on it was considered bad manners. Today we can choose whichever design we like to enjoy the visual accent.

Tatami was originally used in the Heian period as seating or bedding on wooden floors for the highest aristocrats. In the Muromachi period, with the rise of shoin-zukuri architectural style, tatami gradually became used to cover the whole surface of a room. It was around the end of the 17th century that tatami finally reached the homes of commoners and became part of peoplefs daily lives. As the Japanese styles of living are westernized, however, houses built today donft have as many tatami-floored rooms. The output of tatami-omote, including domestically produced and imported, decreased by around 40% from 2004 to 2009. Tatami makers are developing a wide variety of tatami which looks good in the modern interior, such as the tatami without tatami-beri or the tatami-omote made of paper. Adjusting to the times, Ifm sure tatami will continue to be the indispensable item for Japanese life.