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What are Tatami Mats? Tatami mats are rice straw mats that originated in Asia. They are made by weaving long thin strips of rice, then cutting them into pieces for final use. Tatami mats can be placed on the floor to sleep on, to sit on for meditation or as a bed to sleep on during warmer weather. Tatami mats were originally used to cover the dirt floor in the traditional Japanese residence. It was not until 1644 when they began using tatami mats as seating surfaces and sleeping areas for samurai families and high-ranking servants in Japan's castles, palaces...

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