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As the snow wafts down and the forecasters warn of arctic conditions to come, spare a thought for the folks of ancient Edo, who had to make it through the winter months without such essential survival tools as fleece jackets, cup ramen and Hokaron hand warmers.

In the absence of central heating and double glazing, their guiding principle was always “heat the person, not the room.” Thus thick hanten jackets to keep the top half cozy; kotatsu heaters to toast the toes; and hearty, nourishing food to stoke the embers of the inner metabolism.

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