The history of tatami mats started during the Heian period. It was just like a cushion for wooden floors, then later the “Shoin-zukuri” style (that of Japanese residential architecture) brought the trend of full-tatami flooring to our housing history. Tatami was originally made of all natural materials, such as rice straw and rush (a grass-like plant), even though plastic has been recently introduced to the inner board construction.
The Tateno Tatami Craftshop has taken any order of custom-made tatami within their customers’ budgets since its establishment, also repairing them. “Using tatami has actually been an ecological practice since olden times. When the tatami’s surface is aged, the owner comes to us for flipping the rush cover. Covers typically last two or three years for each side, and then when both sides are worn they visit us again for a full-renovation. If you take care of tatami well, you can use them for 100 years!” the artisan says. “You feel cooler on tatami in summer, but warmer in winter - and I simply adore the aroma of the natural mattress.” The quaint, old building is pretty neat. One can observe his work from the street anytime simply by passing by.