Sunday, November 8, 2009
Won't Miss #72 - tatami
There is no doubt in my mind that the use of tatami used to serve Japanese people well. In humid subtropical climates, I'm told that it helps with moisture and possibly even the heat. Unfortunately, it doesn't serve nearly so well in modern life. For one thing, the time when you can get by with a fan, a slice of salted watermelon, and wearing a yukata on the porch to cope with summer weather passed when concrete jungles made heat dispersal and cool breezes a part of the past. Tatami just can't do much under those circumstances, and it is a pain to take care of. In particular, it becomes infested with dust mites, needs to be bug-bombed once a year, and shows wear fairly rapidly. Most people with new homes forgo tatami rooms altogether these days.
I won't miss having to deal with tatami mats.