Last week, it was very cold in Japan. My town, which is on the Kyūshū(九州) island, was no exception. On Thursday temperatures were 2 ℃(36℉), and On Friday 0 ℃(32℉). What time? Around 8a.m. Where? My living room(茶の間). (^^)
I rebuilt my house about 20 years ago. It is, if anything, a traditional Japanese-style. My old house was built in the early 1880’s. It was a traditional Japanese-style house for me. But for people in the early 1880’s it might be a modern house because it was a two-story one. When it was built, the first two-story house in my town, I hear.
When I decided to build a new house, the old one was almost 100 years old. Actually, the decent traditional Japanese-style house stands more longer time. But my town was old coal mine lands. It has a lot of tunnels under the ground. So the ground isn’t firm, which makes a house lean. Rain has harmful effects for the house because a traditional one is made of wood, paper, and soil. Result of that, its life goes shorter.
Until an air-conditioner invented, how to build a house in Japan makes it a principle to how to live out Japanese summer. (^^;) About it, Yoshida Kenkō(吉田兼好) wrote in Tsurezuregusa(徒然草), section 55(第55段).
Even now, almost everywhere in Japan except for Hokkaidō(北海道), a house is not sealed in a high level. Most of them don’t have a central heating system. So does mine.
The heating system of my living room(茶の間) is an oil heater and a electric kotatsu(電気ごたつ). Main is kotatsu and sub is oil heater. When I relax in the living room, I use these devices and wear a wataire(綿入れ). In many cases 綿入れ might be called as 綿入れはんてん.
Now i.e. 10p.m., temperatures are 18 ℃(64℉) in my 茶の間. I feel a little bit too warm. So, I turned off the oil heater. (^^)