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Updated: 23 May 2024

Antique Japanese Lacquer
Chest of Drawers (Tansu-02)


Delivery Time: Approx. 5-14 DAYS
*Delivery may take longer, depending on countries or holiday seasons.


Depth Width Height Weight
11.5cm 20.0cm 15.0cm 496g

You can enlarge all the photos to see the detail of the item.

In stock

SKU: Tansu-02 Categories: ,

 This item is a Tansu (箪笥, chest of drawers). This Tansu has a decorative appearance, painted entirely in black lacquer and decorated with the Makie (蒔絵) technique. The Makie is a typical Japanese lacquer art technique developed uniquely in Japan for about 1,200 years. Firstly, it needs to draw a picture with lacquer on the surface with a thin brush. Next, sprinkle the gold powder from above to show the pattern before the lacquer hardens. This technique makes a gorgeous and elegant look to works, as seen in this Tansu.

 At first glance, this Tansu looks simply a fan-shaped box. However, it has three drawers. Each tier opens in opposite directions to the left and right, making it easy to check the contents. Also, while the outside of the Tansu is painted with black lacquer, the inside is painted with vermilion color. This also enhances the decorativeness of this item. The fan motif has been favored as an auspicious pattern representing development and prosperity. During the Heian period (794-1185/1192), aristocrats enjoyed elegant plays with fans and appreciated the fan as a noble item. A fan has a characteristic shape, and it is called Suehirogari (末広がり) in Japanese. Based on the idea that this shape implies a perspective of the future, people appreciate this design. The fan pattern also represents wealth because it was once available only for high-ranked people. In addition, people enjoy drawing various motifs such as animals, plants, geometric patterns, and auspicious patterns on the fan surface. That might also be why the fan motif is popular. On this Tansu, you would find that small fan-shaped patterns are designed on it. Three fans are designed on one side, and the tops of the fans are carved with pine, bamboo, and Japanese apricot blossoms. There are also two fans designed on the opposite side, and you could see the figures of cranes and a turtle. All of these are classic lucky charms: Shou-Chiku-Bai (松竹梅, a combination of bamboo, pine tree, and Japanese apricot blossom), and the Tsuru to Kame (鶴と亀, a set of crane and turtle). These have been popular motifs since ancient times.

 Here, we must remember the numerous birds flying over the sea, which are depicted on this Tansu. It is also a classical motif called the Nami Chidori (波千鳥). The Nami (波) means waves, and Chidori (千鳥) is a plover. The Nami Chidori pattern represents a happy marriage and family safety. In Japan, people have treated it as a good omen design since the Nara period (648-781). Waves are compared to the world, which describes determination: overcoming difficulties with a partner even if there are small or big waves (difficulties/ troubles). Also, the plover pattern is used as a prayer. The Japanese name of the plover, Chidori, was associated with the word Chidori (千取り, which literally means get a thousand). Therefore, its design contains prayers for victory and wishes for goal achievement.

 If this tool is just for storing things, a simpler-designed box or plain box could also serve as a storage case. However, incorporating auspicious designs into such objects (even small items) would have added physical and spiritual color to people’s lives. We believe it is suitable for displaying in your room as interior decoration and would add color to your room.

 *As this item is an antique, please check each photo and ensure its condition.

【About us】
 Samurai Museum is located in Tokyo, Japan, exhibiting antique artifacts related to the Samurai history. Samurai Museum Shop is the place for those who are interested in Japanese culture and craftsmanship. We deal with antique Samurai swords/armor, traditional crafts made in Japan and so on.

【Payment method】
 We accept payment through Stripe (Credit card), PayPal, Apple Pay or ChromePay, all of which are secure payment methods. Also, you don’t need to make an account on Stripe for the checkout. If you prefer other payment method, please contact us. You may either pay in JPY, USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, CHF or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate. 

【Shipping duration】
 We normally ship via EMS (Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. It usually takes at least 5-14 days to deliver the package after you place an order. Time of delivery is estimated as accurately as possible by the carrier but does not take into account any delays beyond our control such as by inclement weather, post office holiday seasons.

 We offer Free International Shipping as long as we can ship your order by EMS. If you prefer other shipping carriers, please contact us.  
 We will inform you of the order’s tracking number via email. Please make sure you fill out your valid email address correctly. 

*If you like to make sure if EMS shipping is available to your country, please contact us.

【How to make sure the condition】
 Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision.

 It is essential for us to know that you are happy with your choice of antique item and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.

 Would you like see some more Antique items for sale? Please check the link below. We hope you can find your favorite item.

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