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Japanese Fireplace “Irori” – Vol.3

Japanese Fireplace “Irori” – Vol.3

Traditional Lifestyle

August 2. 2021

Irori” in Japanese literately means a fireplace surround by people.
The Irori has a long history of being the center of Japanese daily life, with the prototype of it being created during the Jomon periods (between c. 14,000–300 BCE).

With this final episode, we introduce some of Irori projects as well as Ash Patterns.

Japanese Fireplace “Irori
Vol.1 — Ways to Enjoy Japanese Fireplace “Irori

Vol.2 — Irori Installation, Past to Present
Vol.3 — Variety of Irori and Art of Ash Patterns Drawing


Vol.3 – Variety of Irori and Art of Ash Patterns Drawing

As the way of living is modernized, the style of Irori also has changed over the years.
Various types of Irori are available on the market, even you see an Irori that you can set chairs around.
I am sure you can find a perfect Irori that suits your lifestyle, taste, or purpose of use.

Later, I will introduce “Ash patterns” which is a similar concept as sand patterns in Zen gardens.


Modern Japanese Style

This Irori is embedded in the floor and looks good in Japanese-style architecture.
Tamo wood painted in a deep color is used for the frame and the lid, that matches the rest of the interior design.
Tamo wood is a hardwood which also used in high-end furniture, baseball bats. It is scratch-resistant material and has little deviation.

Since it has a lid, no need to worry that the ash scatters on the floor and gets dirty.
In the off-season, you can place a table on to use the space functionally.

Next, I would like to introduce Two-way functional Irori.

Step-down seating Irori table style

Traditional Irori Kamachi style

This Irori is movable and you can use it as step-down seating called Horigotatsu in Japanese.
If you remove the legs of the table, the top plate of the table fits the floor, and you can also enjoy the traditional Irori Kamachi style.

When you use the lid, you can use it as a regular dining table.
This style fits into modern interior setting!


Great look! Irori in Tatami mats room

A tatami mat is a symbol of Japanese-style houses.
If the Irori is placed in the center of the tatami-matted room, the tatami mats are placed around the Irori, and the tatami mat layout gives beautiful patterns.

Wood flooring is installed around the Irori to create a seat.
In this photo, chestnut wood is used for the flooring, having this area around the Irori prevent ash scatter up to the tatami mats.
In addition, it is easy to put Irori tools and tableware, and it is highly functional.


Art of Ash Patterns Drawing

“Ash pattern (Ash leveling)” is a technique to enjoy the Irori further. Drawing patterns on ashes is a unique Japanese culture.
To draw patterns on ashes requires special skill, and it looks like a Zen garden in a small Irori space.

Nowadays to draw ash patterns is not common. In some of old historic Irori, you see ash patterns and it is an old custom of keeping the sacred fire source clean, drawing beautiful patterns, and welcoming guests.

Beautiful ash pattern "Kita Family Residence" in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Important Cultural Property

The basics of patterns are straight lines, curves, and wavy patterns, however, the types of patterns are unlimited.
Drawing complicated patterns is not easy, however, it can be a good hobby to spend time with. It will please your families and guests.

Patterns are unlimited!

Beautiful wave pattern

Japanese good luck pattern

Drawing tools, made with iron, brass, bronze plating

Ash pattern is not a well-known culture even among Japanese people.
However, this is perfect domestic artwork for people who looking for spiritual mindfulness, slow life, and healing.
Also, it is just beautiful and I hope many people find the beauty of “Art of Ash Patterns Drawing”.

Japanese Fireplace “Irori
Vol.1 — Ways to Enjoy Japanese Fireplace “Irori

Vol.2 — Irori Installation, Past to Present
Vol.3 — Variety of Irori and Art of Ash Patterns Drawing


Interview Cooperation
* * *
Chirori Co., Ltd.
Yoshihiro Nagata


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