Tatami mats are a traditional form of Japanese floor covering, which are still found in ryokan and many Japanese homes.

Tatami mat is the traditional straw matting that is used on the floor in Japanese homes. Tatami evolved over a long period, first beginning as a thin easily folded straw mat on which people sat or slept. Later, more layers of tightly woven rice straw were added to the core to increase comfort. The core was then covered with woven rushes and the edges hemmed with cloth.

Tatami room

Tatami room

In traditional Japanese society Tatami came to be associated with privilege as exalted members of society sat upon them while others sat on the wooden floor. As shoes are a symbol of the life led outside the home, it is custom to remove them in the entranceway, here we enter a different world - the private, personal world of the home.

Japanese Culture