Category: History of Tansu

Tansu: Origin

Tansu are the wooden boxes and chests that originated in Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868). The woodworking traditions of Japan date back as far as the Shinto shrines at Ise from the 5th century A.D. to the portrait sculpture of the Kamakure period (1185-1333). While there…  

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Tansu: Edo & Meiji Periods

It is true that some Tansu were indeed part of interior life, such as the step-chest, tea chest, and kitchen cupboard. The storage cupboards for inventory and the account-book chest of the merchant were also interior tansu. Indeed, it was the merchant class that became…  

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Tansu: Taisho and Showa Eras

Meiji-era Japan soaked up the ideas of the West like a sponge and plunged headlong into modernization. In the midst of industrialization, the craftsman who turned out handmade furnishings was marginalized. For tansu, the Taisho (1912-1926) and Showa (1926-1989) eras represent, beyond anything else, economy…  

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