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What is Kotatsu? Kotatsu is a Japanese heating machine.

About Kotatsu

Kotatsu is a traditional Japanese heating machine that puts heat on a low table and covers it with a 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 has not been used much in single-person homes, 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 Kotatsu begins when people’s feet are placed on a low table, 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 was high.
“Ko” means high in Japan.

After that, Kotatsu 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 could sit down.
At this time, the position of the Kotatsu could not be changed.

Portable Kotatsu was born around the middle of the Edo period.

The good thing about Kotatsu is that many people can get warm simultaneously.
The figure of relaxing with Kotatsu is also depicted in Ukiyo-e.
With the spread of electric-made Kotatsu, the board was placed on Kotatsu, and Kotatsu was used as a 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 switch is turned on.
So, the number of families that use Kotatsu has decreased in Japan.

However, more and more new Kotatsu that are warm and create a comfortable space appear.
Japanese people have loved kotatsu for a long time.
By knowing about its history and new ideas, we would like to reconsider Kotatsu’s charming points.