A Furo: Portable Brazier for Japanese Tea Ceremony

A Furo is a portable brazier used during the spring and summer seasons when the hearth or fire-box (known as “ro” 炉) is closed or when the tea ceremony is performed in a room without a fixed hearth. Furo braziers come in various shapes, with early versions made of bronze, while later ones were commonly crafted from iron or clay. The preferred choice for formal occasions was an unglazed clay brazier coated with black lacquer. To protect against heat damage, it was placed on a lacquered board called “ko-ita” 小板, while the iron type was set on a paving tile known as “sengawara” 専瓦.

Mizusashi 水指

A fire window or cut-out opening on the edge of the brazier ensured proper airflow to keep the charcoal burning effectively. Inside the brazier, a bed of ashes was laid, and the charcoal was placed on top and lit. For bronze or iron braziers, the kettle was set directly on the brazier’s surface, while a trivet was used with clay braziers. Kettles designed for portable ranges were slightly smaller than those used with fixed hearths. In some instances, semi-formed tea ceremonies incorporated a Chinese copper brazier called “karakane furo” 唐銅風炉.”

Note: The information has been rewritten for better clarity and understanding while retaining the original meaning.

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