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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hibachi

火鉢

As generators of heat in Japan's cold winter months, hibachi are now little more than curiosities. These antique charcoal braziers are usually ceramic and lined with metal. Hibachi were (and occasionally still are) used to boil a kettle and also as an outsize ashtray as smokers would light their bamboo kiseru pipes on the charcoal and then empty them into the ash by tapping the bowls on the metal rim.

Hibachi

Hibachi can still be bought in antique shops and flea markets such as those at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and Toji Temple in Kyoto. Hibachi can make for garden ornaments either as fish ponds or plant vases. They are also attractive as interior decorations.

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