Autumn is quickly leaving on little cat’s feet, and cold winter drafts will be winding around our legs before we know it. I’m already thinking about ways to stay warm while reading through the icy winter months. In the past, I’ve tried a combination of fleece warm-ups, Slankets and wool blankets, but they eventually become uncomfortable as they bunch and twist around me.
Then I saw a picture of a Kotatsu, a Japanese design which may solve all of my problems. Although they’ve been around since the Muromachi period during the 14th century, they are new to many westerners like me.
A kotatsu is a low table frame covered by a futon, or heavy blanket, upon which a table top sits. Underneath is a heat source. Kotatsu are used almost exclusively in Japan, although similar devices are used in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Spain, Portugal, China, and Korea.
The modern kotatsu usually relies on an electric heater attached to the underside of the table, which makes them portable and relatively safer than antique coal burning stoves. Many different styles are available online.
Some are just the kotatsu table with a cover.
While others provide a variety of seating options with back support or fold-out sleepers.
If you want to build your own, you can find a DIY tutorial here.
So keep warm this winter, and enjoy bookish goodness!