Why is taking off shoes at home important? Hygiene, health, economy and the environment are just some of the reasons:

nyt.com

We have always wondered why the Japanese have a real ritual to take off their shoes before entering the house. It is something that should be widespread in any home, becoming a common habit of all of us: In the first place, taking off your shoes at home decreases the possibility of bringing bacteria home: according to the results of a study conducted by the University of Arizona in a shoe there can be about 421,000 bacteria , in many cases that can cause very serious infections such as E. coli, klebsiella pneumonia and serratia ficaria .

This also applies to pesticides often used for gardens, fields and that with shoes, without realizing it, we trample and then drag around the environments in which we walk, these substances can remain on the surfaces of our home for a long time: Obviously shoes used outside the home they bring dirt into the house and force us to avoid and consume more cleaning products which are very often chemical and therefore polluting. Other less “traumatic” reasons, but still important, are undoubtedly the convenience of moving around the house and leaving the foot healthy and free.

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We should take a cue from Asians, in some countries like Japan people use different slippers, each useful for a specific area of ​​the house, in Japanese called geta” . In short, a habit that should become routine in our daily life:

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It is in this context that the use of Tatami was born: a type of  mat  used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese- style rooms   . Tatami are made in standard size, twice as long, approximately 0.9m by 1.8m depending on the region. In martial arts, tatami is the floor used for training in a  dojo and for competition. The tatamis are covered with soft toe  fabrics ( 藺 草 ,  Igusa  )  straw  . The core is traditionally made from rice straw, but contemporary tatamis sometimes have   compressed wood chips or expanded polystyrene cores  . The long sides are usually edged (縁 (  heri  )) with  brocade  or smooth canvas, although some tatamis do not have borders.

The Tatami has been used by the Japanese for over 1000 years. Initially, only warlords and kings used it as an ancient king of Western civilization who used a special chair. In ancient times, in Japan, the person sitting on the tatami was sitting on the throne. The nobility would use the tatami to receive guests. Everyone will understand that the person sitting on the tatami was a king, a prince or leader of a powerful samurai group. While in the West everyone would bow before a pompous fat idiot sitting on a throne, in Japan they would have had to touch their knees to the earth in front of a ruler, perhaps of slight build, sitting on a precious tatami. In the sixteenth century, the tatami became widely used by the samurai and the merchant classes. Halls with tatami mats were considered halls to be used for important meetings and ceremonies. The rise in popularity of the very spiritual tea ceremony has also given a boost to the widespread use of the tatami. Video:

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