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This "Kotatsu Series" Community Discussions is brought to you in partnership with Japan Alaska Association, Japanese American Citizens League and the UAA Montgomery Dickson Japan Center. This project features members of the Japan-Alaska community in a recorded interview and Q & A session to preserve and celebrate legacies of individuals who have impacted our community. This discussion series also highlights themes unique to our Japan-Alaska community.

 

So What’s a Kotatsu? Japanese of past generations cooked meals, shared stories while eating mandarins, and created memories at the cooking hearth known as the irori. The kotatsu is the modern version of the irori, and now is found in most Japanese households in the form of a wooden table with a heat source. This piece of furniture is often the only source of heat and the central gathering place for Japanese families.

 

We hope the warmth of the Kotatsu Series will bring our Japan-Alaska community together.