Kotatsu: Hon nippon no mono!
A kotatsu table is a staple of both modern and ancient
Japan. Its presence in Japanese culture
remains as prominent as a fireplace is in the West, this highly revered table (a
center piece of furniture) often remains the social hub for the entire home, as
well as functioning as a utilitarian object to keep warm in the winter; it is
fair to say that great significance is imparted to it in daily Japanese
lifestyle. Guests are often escorted into the chanoma (茶の間; Japanese living-tea room) upon entering
a home in which they share laughs and the hospitable warmth that is best suited
around good company and a cup of tea.
(Image of Japanese portrait depicting
the common presence of a kotatsu)
A chanomibanashi (茶飲み話; a chat over tea) has been hosted in everything from ancient
opulent tea houses holding ritual ceremonies—some as long as 3 hours!—to the
most modest of homes for centuries in Japan. It is my personal aim to be able
to offer those outside of Japan the opportunity to continue and carry on this
tradition so that they, too, may enjoy the simple pleasures of conversing with
one’s guests in a hospitable and comfortable environment enhanced by this table.
However, while tea is a fundamental tenet of Japanese
culture it must be noted that a kotatsu table is not solely limited to this application;
it also functions as a place in which to host one’s dinner parties. Below is a
perfect example of the typical use of a kotatsu in any home.
being hosted around a kotatsu; Nadame Cantabile)
Kotatsu tables also offer a comfortable and often safer work
places, if working with fragile materials, then tall leveled desks. In addition
to the warm work-space the short height of a kotatsu doesn’t impact ones
posture and is significantly less straining than that of the hunched-over
position one is often forced into for hours at a time in a traditional Western
desk. It is not uncommon to see someone
spend their entire day in winter under one; the warmth gently invites one to
nap under it with its unique charm. I can tell you from personal experience
that it is amusingly addicting!
often find the low-slung design ideal for practical visual levels and
(Visual representation of a typical kotatsu and table interior and
removable table top)
A kotatsu is comprised of rather simple elements: an often
square table consisting of a skeleton-like structure that safely houses and
aligns the kotatsu (heater) within, while also stabilizing the rigidness of the
table itself. This allows for the top
structure of the table to be removed.
(An upright Kotatsu without a futon and the heating unit on)
The heater fins are directed downward, when the table is properly upright, to
allow the heat to distribute within the table itself, and the heat is retained
inside and insulated by the futon (duvet). The top portion the table is then
placed over the futon to create a stable and even plane on which to serve, or
Individuals who wish to contribute to this project will be eligible for the
listed rewards for their respective level of contribution. I have given this a
great deal of thought and effort and I wish to impart to all contributors an
incentive that not only gives you the satisfaction of having a significant role
in my ambition to cater to this Market, but also one in which you can possess a
tasteful memento as well as a token of my sincere gratitude.
Thank you for taking the time read my proposal and let us
together make a chanomibanashi
as ubiquitous in the West as it is in
Japan with this project! I look forward to hearing your insight and comments
regarding Mark I’s design in the donators comment section and blog.
Japanese portrait depicting the common presence of a kotatsu)
Genki-Kun buys kotatsu (Note: Play in full screen, right click video and un-click loop,): http://megaswf.com/serve/2002738
My project consists of creating a hand-made kotatsu table; a
kotatsu table is a Japanese low height table that possesses an inverted heater
at the base of the table with a removable table top. My aim is to raise the
sufficient funds to first complete a revised version of my design (which is
currently 50% built) then to eventually be able to efficiently produce these tables
in sufficient quantities that will enable me to market these to individuals in
North America. At present those whom desire these tables are left to construct
their own, or subsequently pay large sums of money to have them shipped from
abroad. I intend to capitalize on this demand in the Market by offering a well
crafted product of my own design. I sincerely believe Kickstarter may assist me
in doing so—as well as gauge potential demand.