A jizaikagi hearth hook with fish-shaped counterbalance

An irori (いろり, 囲炉裏, 居炉裏) is a traditional Japanese sunken hearth. Used for heating the home and for cooking food, it is essentially a square, stone-lined pit in the floor, equipped with an adjustable pothook – called a jizaikagi (自在鉤) and generally consisting of an iron rod within a bamboo tube – used for raising or lowering a suspended pot or kettle by means of an attached lever which is often decoratively designed in the shape of a fish.[1]


  1. Fahr-Becker (2001), p196


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