Tatami. In Japan an elaborate mat takes the place of beds, chairs,
tables, sofas and armchairs. It is called TATAMI and the Japanese cover the whole floor area of their homes with it. These mats are made from rice plant stubble. The stubble is evened out and bound with a resilient cord reaching a thickness of 6 cm. and is covered on the outside with straw matting. The edges are squared with extreme precision and the two longest sides are edged with a broad black linen or cotton band. Tatami for the houses of the aristocracy have black or white
decoration woven into the band. The mats give slightly when walked on barefoot; in fact the Japanese leave their shoes at the front door. These mats also soften every noise. On the first sunny spring days, the Tatami are removed and aired in front of the house, piled up two by two like playing cards.
People eat, sleep and die on these Tatami; they are bed, chair, armchair and, at times, table.
The Futon is laid out on the Tatami at night and an eiderdown is used as a cover. This bed is put away in large fitted wardrobes in the morning and the house once again has the typical peaceful atmosphere of Japanese homes.