Understanding Tatami

Variation of Tatami

Tatami with Heri (Border)

Heri (Border)

The most common form of tatami includes, the base, omote and heri edges. This is a simplistic breakdown of tatami, but these are the main elements. This style of tatami is widely used, from houses to temples and shrines. The heri protects the edges and corners of the mat while giving a decorative accent.

Tatami without Heri


This type includes Ryukyu-tatami (Okinawan), or Ryukyu-style-tatami – both of these styles are without heri. Demand for this type of tatami has been increasing in recent years due to the variation in color and its modern feel. It can be produced thinner than regular tatami so it is a good option to lay on existing wooden floors.

Producing this type of tatami requires high level of skill and effort, it can not be mass produced so it tends to be more expensive than general tatami with heri.

  • Ryukyu-omote


  • Meseki-omote


Tokonoma (alcove)

Tatami for tokonoma (alcove).

There is a specific omote for tokonoma, called Ryubin-omote, however a general omote or usu-datami (thinner tatami) is often used.

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