The Japanese have always been very energy conscious and efficient in their lives as opposed to other parts of the world that are guilty of wasting too much energy, especially during peak winter. So, when the frosty nights hit the Land of the Rising Sun, they take out their Kotatsu and spend their lives around it. A Kotatsu is basically a table, a heater and a blanket combined that the whole family can share and get comfy around. The unintended bit of family getting together is also a great thing especially in winters when socializing becomes very difficult.
Now these Kotatsu date back a long time but not in this arrangement. It consists of a basic table frame covered by a heavy blanket in which people can insert their feet. Now the source of the heat is located at the center of the table so it is a bit like a campfire where people can huddle around but it is inside one’s home. Now earlier versions of these heaters weren’t covered with a blanket and table. People used to cook food and provide a source of warmth inside the house. They still exist in some traditional Japanese homes, but a majority of the robot-loving nation has shifted towards the newer designs.
Image Source: Tim Notari, Wikimedia
The modern ones have a blanket and table over them so people can insert their cold feet around them and still have fun. The use of electric heating panels has reduced the risk of a fire breakout and Oxygen consumption problem that releases Carbon monoxide and results in a lot of deaths throughout the world. But, in some cases, charcoal is still used efficiently. A grate is pulled over the charcoal pit, and heat is trapped inside. It is much warmer but non-portable form of Kotatsu. The electric ones are easier to move around because of their easier construction. Thus, one small heater can be used for the entire family’s heating solutions.
Image source: Doornob.com
Have a look at it. Very cozy indeed!
It is a very energy-efficient device and sort of gives the feeling of a bed everywhere it goes. Would you use it next January? Or if you are from the Southern hemisphere, you could use it now!