Jan. 9th, 2017

Tatami love

Jan. 9th, 2017 09:22 am
dorchadas: (Cherry Blossoms)
While I was catching up on my news articles this weekend, I saw an article on the Japan Times about the popularity of tatami among foreigners. And while the article reads a lot like a press release from the tatami-promotion association mentioned in the article itself, it does remind me of how much I loved the tatami mats in our house in Chiyoda.

What it says there is true. Tatami does feel really nice to walk on, with a kind of springiness that neither wood nor carpet has, and while I'm not sure agree that it "has a comforting, therapeutic effect reminiscent of strolling in a forest," I do like the smell.

Of course, it also has problems that neither wood or carpet does. There's a reason that futons always get folded up and put away in wooden cabinets when not in use, and that reason is tatami mold. It never happened to us, but Wide Island View ran an article while we were living in Hiroshima about someone else who found the source of the rotten smell in her apartment was a gigantic patch of black mold under her futon. I think that's less likely to happen here, since unlike Japan Chicago isn't incredibly humid all year, but it's not impossible. There's also 壁蝨 (dani, "mites") that live in the tatami.

None of this even happened to us, though, which is why I have such a rosy opinion.

If we really committed in some future house, I'd probably get a platform bed for our futon to keep it off the floor, but still close enough that it's sleeping near the ground. Or something like this, though perhaps not that expensive--that's five times what we paid for our futon.  photo capitalism.001.gif

This is all assuming I get a free hand at decorating, admittedly. And something tells me that tatami doesn't come in black unless it's pre-molded.

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