Clever idea helps wearers cope with the cold with a new take on the retro garment.
Japan is currently experiencing its most frigid temperatures of the year. When things get like this, there are two ways to cope: either heat yourself up from the inside with piping hot food and drink, or protect yourself from the cold by bundling up in warm clothing.
Many of those opting for the second strategy reach for a hanten, a thick, quilted half coat that chilly Japanese have been relying on for generations. But while hanten have a retro vibe to them, this particular model, from Osaka-based Kumagai Electric, has a very special modern upgrade.
Tucked inside the jacket is a length of micro carbon fiber. Running from the nape of the neck down to the small of the back, the fiber functions as a heater, drawing power from an included battery pack which is switched on by pressing a button located on the front of the garment.
▼ Additional pockets provide storage for non-heating related items you want to keep handy.
The heater can be adjusted to one of three strengths, and Kumagai boasts that on the lowest setting the battery can last for seven hours before needing a recharge. Two colors are available: navy or “wine.”
While ordinary hanten are primarily thought of as something to be worn while loafing at home, Kumagai recommends its heater-equipped version for forays into cold, snow-covered outside world as well.
Because really, you can’t stay in the kotatsu all winter.
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[ Read in Japanese ]