Japanese tatami mats, a home-grown tradition

CBS Sunday Morning -- May 17
In Japan, grass-and-straw tatami mats – once a privilege reserved for the elite – have been a key feature of home design since the Middle Ages, crafted by gifted artisans. But now, with cheap knockoffs and changing lifestyles, the industry is at a crossroads.
For three generations the Morita family has been wrapping stitching and trimming modular blocks of woven grass known as tatami in Tokyo's old downtown. But now beset by cheap knockoffs and changing lifestyles the craftsmen have been forced to up their game. Besides traditional grass and straw mats, they now offer low maintenance synthetic options.