Frequently Asked Question

(1) About Tatami

  • When did Japanese people start using tatami ?
  • Japanese people started using tatami about 13 hundred years ago.
  • What is tatami ?
  • Tatami is the traditional flooring material in Japanese room. Tatami are thick, woven straw mats. About 190 centimeters long by 95 cms wide, and 5.5 cms thick. or Tatami are about 6 feet long by 3 feet wide, and about 2 inches thick. Rice straw is used for the core tatami mats, and fine thin rushes are woven for the cover.
  • How long does it take to make one tatami mat?
  • By machine : about 40 minutes.
    By hand : about 4 hours.
  • Is there a difference between machine-made and hand-made? What’s the diffierence?
  • Hand-made tatami are much more expensive, and are used for tea-ceremony rooms. Hand-made tatami usually are made with the highest-grade materials.
  • How do you clean tatami mats?
  • Traditionally, with a soft straw broom or a dry towel, but these days, made people use vacuum cleaners.
  • How much does one tatami mat cost?
  • A new handmade tatami costs from about 50,000yen to 180,000yen. A new handmade tatami costs between 50,000yen and 180,000yen. A new machine-made tatami costs from about 8,000yen to 40,000yen.
  • How many tatami do you need for one room?
  • Tatami mats are the measuring for Japanese room. So, for example, we can have a 4-mat room, or a 6-mat room, or an 18-mat room…. A 6-mat room is about 9 feet by 12 feet. A 4.5-mat room is about 9 feet by 9 feet.
  • Japanese people love the smell of new tatami. New tatami are a kind of aromatherapy for Japanese people.
  • Oxygen – O2
    Carbon dioxide – CO2
    Tatami absorb CO2 / carbon dioxide from the air in a room.
    Tatami are natural air – cleaners.
  • The core material determines the price and life-span of tatami.
  • Tatami made with the highest-quality core material can last up 50 years. Tatami made with man-made core materials are cheaper and can last about 25 years. Even the cheapest tatami are more durable than carpet.
  • Can tatami mats be re-coverd?
  • Yes. About 60% of my business is re-covering tatami. We also can reverse the cover to extend its use. Offcouse, re-covering a tatami mat is cheaper than buying a new one, but a re-cover tatami looks like a new one.
  • In the past most Japanese homes used tatami in every room expect the kitchen, bathroom, and toilet. These days, fewer Japanese homes have tatami room, than in the past. Now, many homes have only one tatami-room. Why do Japanese homes use fewer tatami now?
  • The main reason is construction costs. Wooden floors are cheaper than tatami floors. But many people feel wooden floors are cold in winter, so special tatami that cover wooden floors are popular. Traditionally, Japanese people sit on the floor at home – not on chairs – tatami are much more comfortable than hard wooden floors.
  • How about plastic foam Tatami?
  • Plastic foam has become popular as a core material for tatami, because it is cheap, and light weight, and mites are not a problem. There is a type of mite in Japan that likes to live in tatami. Recently, we have learned that plastic form is bad for our health – it can add to the “sick building syndrome” – dangerous chemicals can leak out of the plastic foam, into the air.
  • How often should we reverse Tatami?
  • The best time for reversing the cover of a tatami is when it is between 5 to 8 years old. If we want to reverse a tatami cover, it should be between 5 to 8 years old.

(2) Retail & Wholesale Partners

  • How can we sell Motoyama's Tatami?
  • We welcome all merchants who are interested in selling our Tatami products. Please contact us and tell us your request using the contact form.