Antique Japanese Root Wood Large Hibachi (火鉢) Meiji Era

Sale price$490.00 Regular price$785.00
Save 38%

Dimensions: 10-0”h x 15-0”dia.

Antique Japanese naturalistic solid Zelkova (Elm), wood Hibachi for heating charcoal has a lovely textural look and feel. This particular hibachi was discovered in Kyoto in 1989. Many of these tree trunks or root bases were developed as interior accessories, and in this case, because of their heftiness, it was used interchangeably for either a cooking Hibachi, a hand warmer,  or a brazier alongside Kotatsu table (see last image of a woman in the Edo period replenishing coals to an earthen pot under the table), in a small room to warm multiple family members. Throughout Japanese history, leftover materials were initially used to make functional and decorative objects, and the process was known as ‘Mottainai’, meaning ‘to not waste’. This original and very unusual, beautifully burled wood has not been restored. The exterior is sealed with candle wax, (Roseau no ro). The piece weighs 14-0 lbs, and will be shipped FREE within the contiguous US, via USPS Ground Advantage, Insured, with tracking, and will arrive in approximately one week (should you meet this requirement and the system charges you for shipping it will be refunded upon confirmation of order. All customers outside the US will be charged shipping according to your location).

Additional Information: Since charcoal produces less smoke than a fireplace using wood, this use spread from the samurai and court nobles to townspeople and commoners in the Edo and Meiji periods. Pebbles, or the like, were placed in the bottom of a lined Hibachi.  In this case, the "otoshi," or interior, where the ash was placed, was made of metal plate instead of copper (restricted to cooking Hibachi). Through use, specially prepared charcoal, (Binchō-tan / ubame oak) and wet pebbles have caused the metal to age and show changes in the surface texture. The previous owners as the images show, have kept it in good condition throughout the years.

One aspect of this Hibachi's later use is its use as an Ikebana or plant container. Ikebana being a disciplined art form has an emphasis on minimalism which is a perfect compliment to this container and supports its use in Japan for which the Japanese have found this old Hibachi perfect to present their designs and in which nature and humanity are brought together.

Condition: Excellent condition means commensurate with age, showing light wear marks from usage, well preserved, and over the years it has developed an interesting patina with a layering effect for continued use—worn metal coal/ash interior lining.