All our tansu are hand-built by master artisans using traditional Japanese carpentry and joinery. The pride they take in their work is reflected in the quality and beauty of the handmade furniture they produce.
Simple lines and clean designs that emphasize the beauty of the wood grains.
The emphasis is put on the raw power of natural materials – each piece is constructed from solid wood beams and fitted with hand-forged hardware.
Each chest of drawers is available in your choice of stain and hardware.
Tansu has always been a very simple design reflecting the ultimate minimalism. The drawer chests that are most familiar are often called Sendai Dansu. as that particular design came from the Sendai area of Japan. This tansu usually consisted of four equal drawers and minimal hardware.
Another common drawer chest was the Kimono Tansu. It was used for just that - storing precious kimonos which were treasured and treated with great care. It was a longer and higher drawer chest with drawers that would accommodate larger linens and fabrics. The top level was often sliding doors and the other drawers were different sizes so that there would be a place for the related items such as obis.
The Mizuya Dansu an important part of every traditional Japanese kitchen. Constructed of thick solid beams of wood, it was meant to be durable and to provide much needed storage. The extended beams and iron rivets on the doors speak of its strength. It was built with sliding doors (hinges were very rare at the time) with big openings and a compliment of large and small drawers. The long thin drawers would have been used to store chopsticks.
The History of Tansu
The Japanese have an impressive history of making Tansu – their skill and distinctive style in woodworking can be dated back as far as the 5th century AD (as seen at the Shrine in Ise), but the Tansu tradition today and some of the oldest surviving antiques still available today originate from the Edo (or Tokugawa) period.
The actual antiques cost 5 figures, and are made out of some excellent wood and with incredible woodworking craftsmanship. The Japanese joinery on these pieces is famous the world over, as are the special designs of these antiques - notable especially for their secret trick boxes. Todays reproductions are still handmade in much the same way to preserve both the style and quality of the originals.
Some more detailed history on Tansu can be found on this site.