The culture of tatami mats was born of the wisdom of the lifestyle of the people of Yamato—a part of the national culture of which Japan should be proud. However, Westernized homes are becoming more prevalent, and current homes may not have any area devoted to a Japanese style of furnishing that incorporates tatami mats. It is said that demand for the production areas where the rushes used to make the mats are grown has decreased 70-80% compared to previous years.
Oda Tatamiten opened for business in the town of Tawaramoto in Nara Prefecture 120 years ago. I take pride in my job, which has been passed down in my family for generations, and in preserving this superb culture and these first-class products that are unique to Japan. I work every day to advance tatami culture, to take it further, and to build an even better relationship with my treasured customers.
Osamu Oda, Oda Tatamiten
The appeal of tatami mats
Soundproofing that provides peace of mind
When you walk into a room with a tatami-covered floor, you’re struck by the silence—the absence of the noise that comes from the displacement of fabric. This stems from the sound-absorbing qualities of tatami mats.
The cores of tatami mats are tightly woven from rice straw, making the mats superior at dampening the sounds of impacts on floors. Tatami mats can muffle noise and prevent it from reverberating to the floor below—to the point where those below might not realize that the room above has wooden flooring or is a Japanese-style room.
The soundproofing provided by tatami mats also provides peace of mind.
Moisture absorption that keeps rooms clean & pleasant
Two of the reasons often cited for why tatami mats are so pleasing are their soft flexibility & their superior moisture absorption. Tatami mats provide excellent temperature control—for example, in periods of high humidity, such as the rainy season, the mats absorb moisture. In the dry winter months, they release moisture, making the space more pleasant for the occupants of the home.
The superior temperature regulation offered by the mats is due to the construction of the rushes from which the mats are made. The rushes boast a beautiful hexagonal honeycomb structure that makes the tops of the rushes soft & flexible. The straw also has a hollow structure. The materials that compose the mats have a large surface area, increasing their ability to absorb & adsorb moisture.
It is through subtle effects like these that tatami mats lend a sense of comfort to a room.
The calming scent of the rushes
The unique scent of tatami encourages you to relax in a room. The scent comes primarily from the rushes, so it has a calming effect—being in the room has the same sort of effect as taking a
peaceful walk in the woods. This soothing scent naturally encourages us to breathe more deeply, allowing us to relax both in mind and body.
A light reflection index that gives the people of Japan peace of mind
When we’re in a tatami room, we all somehow feel more at ease. This is due to the calming effect of the colors seen by the eye and the light felt by our skin. When human skin breathes, it also
absorbs light at the same time—and people instinctively feel more at ease in colors with a reflection index closer to that of their own skin tone. The reflection index of a tatami room is almost
identical to the reflection index of Japanese skin. Therefore, for us Japanese, a tatami room is a calming space that brings us peace of mind.
A misunderstanding: About ticks
It is a misconception that tatami mats attract ticks. It is a known fact that tatami actually attract fewer ticks compared to carpets. It is humidity and protein levels that encourage ticks to breed, and this problem can be to an extent prevented with appropriate ventilation. Ticks can also be removed with vacuuming.
Small tatami items
Oda Tatami® is a new brand of small tatami items based on the concept of “from tatami you lay out to tatami you take with you.”