Kotatsu is a traditional Japanese heating machine that puts heat in a low table and covers it with Japanese-style blanket (Futon).
And place the board on the futon.
We put the Kotatsu in the center of the living room, where we communicate and eat food.
In recent years, Kotatsu have not been used much in single-person home, but I always use them when I return to my parents’ home during New Year’s holidays.
Kotatsu is a must-have item for Japanese rural families in winter.
About the beginning of Kotatsu
The history of Kotatsu extends back to the Muromachi period.
It is said that the beginning of Kotatsu are that people’s feet were placed on a low table, and then put on a kimono over the feet and warmed.
In the Edo period, “Yagura Kotatsu”, a high table covered on a Futon, appeared.
This was also called “Ko Kotatsu” because the base table is high.
“Ko” means high in Japan.
After that, Kotatsu was dug down a part of the living room and set up a heating machine at a lower position.
This was also called “Hori Kotatsu” because the Kotatsu was dug down a part of the living room and we can sit down.
At this time, the position of the Kotatsu could not be changed.
Around the middle of the Edo period, portable Kotatsu was born.
The good thing about Kotatsu is that many people can get warming at the same time.
The figure of relaxing with Kotatsu is also depicted in Ukiyo-e.
With the spread of electric-made Kotatsu, board was placed on Kotatsu and Kotatsu used as dining table.
About the current use of Kotatsu
In recent years, the heating performance of the air conditioner has also improved, and the room will be warmed up as soon as the air conditioner switch is turned on.
So families that use Kotatsu have decreased in Japan.
However, more and more new Kotatsu that are not only warm but also create a comfortable space are appearing.
Kotatsu has been loved by Japanese people for a long time.
By knowing about its history and new ideas, we would like to reconsider the charming points of Kotatsu.