Kotatsu

A nihongo|kotatsu|炬燵 is a low, wooden table frame covered by a futon, or heavy blanket, upon which a table top sits. Underneath is a heat source, often built into the table itself. Kotatsu are used almost exclusively in Japan, although equivalents can be found in other cultures, notably the Korsi used in Iran.

Types

There are two kinds of kotatsu used in Japan today, differing in the configuration and the type of heating:
*Electric: The modern style of kotatsu consists of a table with an electric heater attached to the underside of the table. The kotatsu is usually set on a thin futon, like a throw rug. A second, thicker futon is placed over the kotatsu table, above which the tabletop is placed. The electric heater attached to the underside of the table heats the space under the comforter.

*Charcoal: The more traditional type is a table placed over a recessed floor. The pit is cut into the floor and is about 40 centimeters deep. A charcoal or electric heater is placed somewhere in the pit's floor, walls, or, as in the modern-style kotatsu, attached to the table-frame.

Use

Generally, a blanket is draped over the frame under the table-top. A person then sits on the floor with their legs (or most of their body if napping) under the table with the blanket draped over the lower body. Though this only heats up the lower body, it can keep one quite comfortable even in an unheated/under-heated room. In the summer, the blanket may be removed and the kotatsu can be used as a normal table.

Most Japanese housing is un- or under-insulated, and they rely primarily on space heating. Heat is expensive because of the lack of insulation, and the draftiness of housing. A kotatsu is a relatively inexpensive way to stay warm in the winter, as the futons trap the warm air.

The kotatsu was designed for people wearing Japanese style clothes, where the heat would enter through the bottom of the robes and exit around the neck, thus heating the entire body.

Korsi

Korsi are a traditional part of Iranian culture. Korsi are similar to kotatsu although differ in that a futon is replaced by a blanket, and a special woven rug called the ru-korsi is usually thrown over the blankets, to protect them from food stains. It used to be quite popular for entire families to gather together under the Korsi during the Yalda celebrations.

In popular culture

*The Nobel Prize winning Author Yasunari Kawabata has many references to kotatsu in his novel "Snow Country". They appear throughout the novel illustrating their common use in Japanese culture and housing.
*In an episode of the anime series "Samurai Pizza Cats", the feline heroes are subdued using "weapons" that are known to be effective ways of distracting cats: a jiggling feather, some tinned fish, a ball of yarn and a kotatsu. Due the kotatsu not being known as a well known cat napping spot outside of Japan, in the western version the villain holding the fourth weapon uttered the line, "and the coup de grâce... a radio playing Barry Manilow, glued to the bottom of a card table!"

ee also

*Kang bed-stove


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kotatsu — Der Kotatsu (jap. 炬燵) ist ein beheizter Tisch in japanischen Häusern, der auch heute eine der wichtigsten Wärmequellen im Winter und gleichzeitig einen Ort der familiären Gemeinsamkeit darstellt. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Funktion 2 Heizen in Japan 3… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kotatsu — Un kotatsu moderno en Japón. El Kotatsu de la era de Edo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Kotatsu — Représentation d un kotatsu électrique et au charbon Un kotatsu (炬燵, kotatsu …   Wikipédia en Français

  • kotatsu — noun A knee high table with an electric foot warmer installed inside on the top board, which is used with a coverlet during winter …   Wiktionary

  • kotatsu — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Battle Heater: Kotatsu — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda バトルヒーター Título Battle Heater: Kotatsu Ficha técnica Dirección Jôji Iida Producción Osato Yokichi / Kawashima Toru Música …   Wikipedia Español

  • Urusei Yatsura — うる星やつら (Urusei Yatsura) Género Comedia romántica, Ciencia Ficción, Sobrenatural, Parodia Manga Lamu Creado por …   Wikipedia Español

  • List of Urusei Yatsura characters — Urusei Yatsura, a manga (1978–1987) and anime (1981–1986) series created by Rumiko Takahashi, has a large ensemble cast which includes many cameo appearances from Japanese mythology and history. Names of some of the characters are below. They are …   Wikipedia

  • Neverland (Misono album) — Never+Land Studio album by Misono Released February 28, 2007 …   Wikipedia

  • Lum — Personnages de Urusei yatsura Personnages du manga et anime Urusei yatsura (Lamu). Sommaire 1 Personnages principaux 1.1 Ataru Moroboshi 1.2 Lamu 1 …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.