- Gordon Campbell
Japanese floor mats made with densely packed rice straw enclosed in a cover of woven rush bound lengthwise. Tatami matting first appeared as a floor covering in the Heian period ( ad794–1185) and was initially laid over floorboards in Shinden-style mansions. By the 17th century it was used as a complete floor covering in important rooms in élite residences and in the houses of many commoners. In the late 20th century, however, floors of imported polished woods, synthetic substitutes and carpet became more common than tatami....