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Old-fashioned kitchenware... 2009/2/18 13:11
In pictures and in films, I've seen that in traditional Japanese houses, there is sometimes something like a fire-pit in a room, with a pan suspended over it to cook food. : x Does anyone know what this is called, and how it works?

Also, could an old kamado as pictured here (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a...) be used to boil tea in one of those cast-iron pots?

Thank you very much for your help. :)
by . (guest)  

... 2009/2/18 14:51
the hearth is called an irori. check out the wikipedia article here:


You could boil water in the kamado pictured but there are other types of stoves designed specifically for tea.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Thanks - 2009/2/19 01:26
Thank you very much! One more thing, on the food-related subject... would farm-houses in remote villages generally have plumbing, or would drinking water be drawn from wells/some other source?
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/2/19 10:30
If you're talking about modern days then I would expect that most rural homes would have indoor plumbing.

Also, irori and kamado aren't typically used in everyday life anymore. However, irori are often found at ryokan and restaurants for the nostalgic atmosphere they provide.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Hm.. 2009/2/19 10:40
Thanks. Yes, so I hear that irori are on the rare side these days. I was just wondering about plumbing because I'm trying to write a short story that involves an old farm-house that has been around for several generations. But anyway - thanks again.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/2/19 10:48
yea, once you metioned indoor plumbing I figured you were writing a story. I would say that it isn't typical to not have indoor plumbing, as I've been to a number of very rural home/farmhouses/historical houses and they all have had modern plumbing and kitchens, however you can write anything you want for your story.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

. 2009/2/19 10:50
Accuracy's always good, though.
Thanks for the info.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/2/19 11:23
For one thing, a typical farm house built in traditional Japanese style don't last that long. If it has been inherited for "several" generations, a great deal of maintainance would have been done during that time. At least the roof needs to be totally renewed every few years.

The maitainance, be it modern (cheaper) or traditional (very expensive) will involve great deal of time and money. For this reason, a family wealthy enough to have continued for generations would have either (A) sold the house, (B) donated the house to the municipal, (C) spent money renovating the house to a more modern style, having plumbing to say the least, or (D) tear it down and build a condo instead in which they become the owner.

(C) has been very difficult in the recent decades, because inheritance tax is very high, and most houses have been sold to private organizations which eventually have torn down the house and build a building there.

In (A) or (B) it is possible that there is no plumbing, just to preserve the old-fashioned way. In (A), typically the new owner would be some kind of an artist or hermit type of person who likes that sort of lifestyle. In (B) the municipal would use the house as a museum.

Actually though, I've seen a lot of houses with wells, but I've never seen one that has no plumbing. Even the ones with wells have plumbing as well. Btw, I doubt there are any houses in Japan today that collects water from wells using a bucket. They pump it.

On the other hand, even today, quite a few people prefer to preserve or even build new irori, especially because certain dishes are best when cooked at irori.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Thank you. 2009/2/19 11:55
Very neat, thank you so much for your in-depth response. I appreciate all the help.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

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