Teaburi hand warmer


Te-aburi 手あぶり - 手焙り Daruma as a Handwarmer

Before you read this story,
turn to the Hibachi brazier story as an introduction.

. Hibachi 火鉢 brazier  

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teaburi Daruma with Fujisan

my collection
about 24 cm high, circumference 17 cm


. . . CLICK here for Daruma Teaburi Photos !

Te-aburi-type braziers are small portable fireplaces, which were originally transported from room to room and around them the family and guests could warm their hands and drink tea. They were made from various materials, bronze, iron, procelain, earthware or wood lined with copper.

The construction of Japanese houses was not ment to heat a room and living with nature was considered an integral part of daily life. Custom demanded that whenever a visitor arrived, the first act of hospitality would be to set a hibachi in front of him.

Ladies during the Heian period also used small te-aburi braziers to put some pieces of good smelling wood on the charcoal, place their garments over them for a while to scent the fabric before meeting with a special friend.

Te-aburi were already used in the Yayoi Period.          

Daimyo Te-aburi  大名手あぶり
For the Lord of the Domaine

A gold lacquer Daimyo Te-aburi (handwarmer), the richly decorated lacquer stand of square form, set on four scrolling bracket feet decorated with scrolling foliage, the top with four aoi (hollyhock) mon, the Tokugawa family crest, amongst scrolling foliage and chrysanthemum flower heads. The four corners are decorated with applied metal fittings engraved with chrysanthemums and foliage, surmounted by a metal mesh fire cover with handle.

Te-aburi for on the Road
道中手あぶり Doochu Te-aburi  

This is a portable handwarmer that was used chiefly by women while traveling.
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This "Handwarmer for the Road" reminded me of a form of body warmer I have seen in the Kashmir area of India. You carry a little basket with a metal basin holding some hot coals in front of your belly. When sitting down you swing a big coat like a poncho around the body and use the little brazier as an inside warmer.


Daruma Te-aburi Braziers  だるま手あぶり

In the yearly magazine Nr. 4 of the Daruma Association there is a description of a pair of this kind of Daruma Hibachi in the Castle of Iwakuni. They are made of Hagi pottery (Hagiyaki) and are about 30 cm high and of white color.
You can learn more about Hagi Pottery on this HP by Robert Yellin.

Here is a fine example of a bronze handwarmer in form of Daruma
Ca. 1880. Signed "Fujiwara" in katakibibori, the uneven engraving imitating brush strokes. The expressive face of Daruma is beautifully rendered in great depth and detail, and the suggestion of his robes creates a fluidity of line which is superb. There is a round bronze plate at the base of the interior which is cast in relief with scrolling vines and flowers surrounding a family crest ("mon") representing a "karahana" or "China flower." This heavy cast bronze has a rich wonderful patina that comes with age. Its function, in addition to being a work of art, is as a hibachi, one of the small personal ones known as te-aburi that were handwarmers for use by one of two persons at most. These were created to appeal to the personal tastes of their owners. The attractiveness of bronze hibachi is linked to the thickness of the metal and the quality of the casting, both of which are outstanding in this example.
Dimensions: 10",high,7" diameter at top, 10" diameter at widest part.


Photos from my friend Ishino


I will show you now some handwarmers of my collection.

This is a sweet little Princess Daruma of white porcelain. The back is open to put in the hot coals on a layer of ashes. She comes decoradet with various patterns on her belly, some of this kind are also plain white. This one is 31 cm high and has a diameter of about 28 cm. A smaller sister also figures as ashtray.


The next one is maybe of Izumo Pottery. His face is clearly modelled and the eyes are left open for the smoke to come out. So he has quite a sinister look on his face. He is 27 cm high and has a diameter of 28 cm.


Here are two yawning Darumas in form of little handwarmers. They have a big open mouth to put in small pieces of charcoal and sometimes the inside is black with use.


. Hibachi 火鉢 brazier  
with kigo




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