Despite their frankly criminal underrepresentation abroad, kotatsu are well known to anime fans. The bed/table/heater hybrids are mainstays of anime households, and generally have at least one sleepy character snuggled partway under it.
However, a survey by WeatherNews.jp found that slightly less than half of responding Japanese households have a kotatsu in them - 448% with and 52% without, to be exact. (Then again, it could just be that the people who have them were too comfy to get up and answer a survey.)
Broken down by prefecture, though, there are some places where the love for kotatsu is still strong. Yamanashi has the highest ownership rate, with 75% of households reporting owning one. Fukushima and Nagano are close behind at 72% each.
The lowest ownership rate goes to Hokkaido (23%), followed by Okinawa (30%) and Tokyo's metropolitan area (35%).
Many considered it strange that the northerly island of Hokkaido would have not only a lower ownership rate than the southern island of Okinawa (where the temperature rarely dips below 70F), but the lowest rate of Japan as a whole. But there's a good reason -- most houses on the island, where ...read more