Most of Japan has a temperate climate, with cold winters and strong winds, but in many traditional houses not all the rooms were fitted with heating facilities. One alternative, dating since the Heian period, was a kind of portable fireplace called hibachi ("fire pot"), photographed here.
Hibachi were pots made of various heat resistant materials like bronze, porcelain or iron, filled with sand and embers. In richer houses, like in this samurai school in Mito, hibachi was at the same time a decorative object.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: