By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS)

If you’re part of the younger generation, you might be surprised to hear that there were authentic Japanese furo baths in Hawaii in use up until around the early 1980s.


When I was growing up, most of the older homes had a wood-heated furo, which would be called a “Goemonburo” in Japan. One of the after-school chores my sister and I faced was to wrap the wood piled up in the coffee orchard in burlap coffee bags and to carry it home for furo kindling.


The furo at my grandparents place was located in a separate building enclosed with corrugated roof iron. The furo itself was a redwood rectangle with a copper bottom floor surrounded by concrete, which formed the fire chamber under it and supported the furo (hint: think of a wooden open-top box with a copper bottom). The fire pit under the copper bottom was probably about 24 – 36″ high and slightly less than the width of the furo above it.


A slatted board was placed inside the furo and the user would submerge the board when he or she entered the furo. It served as a spacer between the hot copper bottom below and kept you from getting burned.


A supply of coffee wood and guava kindling was kept in a shed connected to the furo bath building. In the old days, the women would put the tissues used to wipe their urine in a trash basket and we would use the tissue paper for fire starting. We would also use newspapers and other things like old Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs to get the fire going. My grandfather also kept an 1-sho size sake bottle filled with kerosene and stoppered with a cork that had been shaved to allow the kerosene to be shaken out and applied to the fire.


In the early days of my childhood, the men in the family were allowed to take a bath first and the women took a bath later. My grandfather, being the senior male was always the first and I used to take a bath with him. He liked hot baths, so I naturally developed a liking for the same.


Just as in the case with the furo in Japan, there was a wash basin (called a senmenki) that you filled with water from the furo to wash yourself with and rinse afterwards. After washing and rinsing on the concrete floor surrounding the furo, you would ease in slowly (or quickly if the water still wasn’t very hot). The temperature of the bath water was adjusted by adding cold water.


The furo fire at our place was tended by my grandfather while he was alive and after covering the furo with its wooden cover after bathing, he would add kindling to keep it hot for the next user.


The furo fire itself served other purposes as well and I remember my sister and I throwing in ulu (breadfruit) and sweet potatoes to cook from time to time.

















By Billy Hammond (Copyright A.E.L.S)


Books published by AELS (AELS出版書籍)


原作&翻訳:ビレー ハモンド


Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools – English Edition (魔女学院&光塾(英語)

By Billy Hammond

迷える魔女の戦い (魔女学院&光塾シリーズ第2)

原作&翻訳:ビレー ハモンド


Lost Witch (Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku Series Book 2) – English Edition (迷える魔女: 魔女学院&光塾第2弾:英語版)

By Billy Hammond

幸せを運ぶ魔法のチャレンジ 魔女学院&光塾シリーズの第3(Fate & Magic Jp)

原作&翻訳:ビレー ハモンド


“Fate & Magic” Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku Series – Japanese Witch Schools Book 3 – English Edition (幸せを運ぶ魔法のチャレンジの英語版)

By Billy Hammond

Regressed 「過去に生きて・・・」

原作&翻訳:ビレー ハモンド


Regressed – English Edition

By Billy Hammond