When walking on the Tatami it gives slightly to the pressure of the bare foot; the Japanese leave the shoes outside their home, and every noise is muffled by their softness. In spring, during the first sunny days, they are removed and placed in front of the house to ventilate them, leaning two by two as playing cards. On the Tatami people eat, sleep and die; they represent at the same time the bed, the chair, the armchair and sometimes even the table.
At night on the Tatami is laid out the Futon with a quilt as a blanket and the bed is ready. In the morning all these objects are locked in a large built-in wardrobe and the house regains the quiet atmosphere typical of Japanese homes.
TATAMI USE INSTRUCTIONS
The Tatami is a natural product made of rice straw; in itself the rice straw does not constitute food for any type of mite or insect, but with time the dust and our own epidermis can be deposited on the Tatami becoming “food” for mites or insects It is therefore necessary to vacuum the Tatami monthly and ventilate it by moving the mattress.
For cleaning or elimination of any mites or insects, it is recommended to clean it with a damp cloth soaked in water and vinegar diluted 1 to 5 or to spray the pyrethrum-based pesticide.
The mattress resting on the Tatami should be ventilated more frequently (at least once a month) to avoid stagnation of moisture that may occur in the most humid months or produced by our sweating; All this is to allow the Tatami and the mattress to breathe.
The recommended procedure is:
open the windows
move the mattress from above the tatami mats
place the mattress in such a way that you “breathe” the side that was in contact with the tatami
A lack of conformity of the goods that occurs as a result of failure to comply with these instructions may not be attributed to Cinius and may not give rise to remedies of termination of the contract, price reduction, the replacement or repair of the goods
(Consumer information: product made in China)
WHAT IS TATAMI?
The Tatami are the flooring of the traditional Japanese house composed of three parts: the padding “toko”, packed very carefully with stubble rice straw made uniform, braided and tied with a sturdy rope, which reach the thickness of two or more inches, about 6cm, and weighing around 30 Kg, the visible outer coating “omote” is a straw mat “igusa” more or less refined.
The best quality straw must be long but, since the mechanized harvesting of the shear in small pieces, it was even necessary to resort to the import from Taiwan.
The margins are squared with precision, so as to allow to be placed side by side or aligned more easily, and those of the two longer sides are edged on and on the side with a tape “heri” of linen or cotton, black for the most common ones, you can find them, especially in the most prestigious residences, edged with ribbons also of different fabrics and decorated with ideograms or stylized symbols such as the chrysanthemum one of the symbols of Japan.
The craftsmanship of the Tatami is entrusted to more people specialized, some in the production of each of the three parts other in the assembly and finishing, not infrequently in some places of Japan you can see the artisans in front of the front door of the house, who crouched near a low frame intent on the manufacture of the mat, who intent on weaving and tying stubble, who to the finishing of the same.
Despite being a compact surface when walking, absolutely barefoot or with the Tabi, the typical Japanese sock with separate finger the footwear is left outside the room to avoid offending the place and the people who live there, The Tatami give in slightly to the pressure of the foot causing a pleasant feeling of contact with the ground.
The Tatami over time have become real units of measurement, in fact the Architect always designs rooms that contain a certain number of Tatami. The interior of the house is not designed to protect itself from nature but to integrate with it in full harmony and balance. The monks of Zen Buddhism in the Muromachi and Momoyama periods have so well expressed and formulated this ideal that the whole of Japanese society aspires to follow it. The result are environments that seem to speak to the spirit and instill calm and balance.
Minimalism and simplicity are the characteristics that Zen philosophy has transmitted to traditional Japanese interiors. This effect is achieved through the rhythm of the vertical surfaces “shoji and fusuma walls” and horizontal Tatami precisely combined with natural materials and colors. At about the same time that Leonardo da Vinci developed the system of dimensions based on the proportions of the human body to be used in architecture, Japanese artisans and builders standardized the dimensions of tatami.
Roughly the Tatami correspond to the space occupied by a person lying the most frequent measures (but may vary from province to province) are 90x180cm or 85x180cm, there are also Tatami vehicles that are 90x90cm or 85x85cm, the room with this type of floor is called washitsu, while when we talk about a room in the west we use yoshitsu. In the spring, during the first sunny days, the Tatami are raised and placed in front of the house to air them, leaning two by two as playing cards.
Some historical background will give us a better understanding of the evolution of Tatami over the centuries: the first use of the ancestor of the Tatami, dated around the eighth century period “Nara”, is attributed to the emperor “Shomu” who used a straw mat to sleep, but only from the second half of the period “Heian” spread the custom, especially in the presence of an illustrious guest, to lay round mats “Enza” to sit there, and then and until the fifteenth century long mats “Goza” to sleep there.
The name Tatami, already in use in the “Heian period, denoted mats that could be folded and stacked from the verb “tatamu” which has that meaning. It was in the sixteenth century, period “Muromachi, in the fief of “Bingo” (in the present prefecture of Hiroshima) that was introduced the use of reed stems to braid tatami.
For a long time it was tried by the feudatories of the area of “Bingo” to keep secret the production technique of the Tatami, in fact for the spread and use of the same in the homes of ordinary people will have to wait for the end of the nineteenth century period “Meiji”everything will turn into what we know today: the Emperor’s mat in Tatami, the “enza” in the “zabuton” comfortable cushion, the “goza” in the “shikibuton” or “futon” comfortable mattress lying on the Tatami.
The use of the Tatami will spread beyond the homes of the nobles also in the religious buildings, temples and Buddhist and Shinto monasteries
The Tatami, after having reached today’s shape, had to resist also the attacks of modernization that has upset the building canons, the furnishings and the spaces of the dwellings.
The modern Japanese try to maintain the tradition, maybe setting up at least one room of their home with the Tatami that become the central element of the house transmitting through its unmistakable and pleasant scent, its soft and relaxing color a warm and serene atmosphere. The Tatami accompany family and individual life: meals, the traditional tea ceremony, social relations, prayer, love and even death.
The use of Tatami is recommended to all those who want to make the house an oasis of serenity, regaining the pleasure of walking in contact with nature, without having to give up but rather increasing the aesthetics and comfort, to those who are increasingly careful in the use of natural materials that do not affect the ecosystem. According to a philosophical thought the Tatami are not only a physical place but a gateway to Awareness, the possibility, even in small environments, to expand their own space.
The increasing attention by architects to make the house not a dormitory but a living and open environment means that the choice of Tatami is almost an obligation, a basis from which to start in the design of spaces, both from the point of view of materials and purely economic.”