Wednesday, October 24, 2007

...and the living room/lounge...

At long last! I finally got my art up and remembered to take photos of my little Japanese apato. This is my "living room/lounge" and frequently where I sleep. I either throw my futon on the tatami floor in one of these rooms or fold the couch down and sleep on it.

When they were renovating my house last year I came in to find a huge hole in my floor - the workers had taken a section of the tatami out, and were underneath my house fixing pipes...well, no WONDER I froze last year...underneath the straw tatami mat is maybe a 1/4" piece of plywood, and then 3 feet of AIR and then soil! BUT I LOVE the tatami anyway. You can see I have a TV set, but since NHK charges you for just HAVING one, I disconnected the cable and never watch Japanese TV. Not that I watched much in the US anyway - the TV is now mostly just a stand for my year-round Christmas tree. On the right side of the top photo is a sliding glass door to a verandah, and out the window in the back is a hill up to an elementary school playground.

One piece of furniture of interest is that square table in the middle of the back room. It's a "kotatsu" and it's your best friend in winter! Underneath is a framework holding a heater, and you put a blanket between that and the top of the table (it really IS safe-). Many a night I sat and read there - getting as much of my body underneath it as possible! Please post questions - I'm beginning to forget what's "foreign" about my place!


Cara said...

love the living room - did the furniture come with the place, or did you have to find your own? How about the curtains? You have a lot of windows, so a lot of curtains!
Place definitely is yours now - pictures, scarf tied around the lamp - I know that wasn't left behind!
Looks like your kotatsu is on... mini bean bags? Is that part of the design or a way to keep it steady on the floor? :-) I'm having a hard time picturing everything - is the heater under the floor? Or on the underside of the table top?
PS - it's been in the 40s overnight this week in Dallas and our heater isn't working. It's 61 in the house at 11:30AM on a sunny day as a write this... heater guy came and has to go get parts (= expensive visit to me)... what's your solution for frozen fingers? :-)

Tracey said...

I was fortunate - though my predecessor didn't leave ANY instructions or useful advice for me, I did have a clean apt with the furniture you see here. I haven't been able to scavenge for furniture like I did in the States - people just don't throw things away (because if they do incorrectly, they're fined), so no dumpster diving :(
Curtains were here - and look much better from a distance (like from where YOU're sitting).
The scarf on the lamp is the one my grandma wore when I took her to the beach for her last birthday. She's wearing it in the photos I have of her on the bookcase there.
The tatami is pliable, hence the bean bags under the kotatsu table legs - trying not to make dents in the mats. The kotatsu heater is a little grill on the underside of the top of the table. They do also sell a heated carpet type thing; it's really expensive, but I might have to break down and buy one this year.
And I don't have a great answer for frozen fingers, but but maybe some massage lotion that heats up??? That way you get moisturized, too?