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■ Featuring "Furniture," Dec. 31 to Jan. 30







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Iwayado-tansu
Completely Made in Iwate
Date:11, Jan, 2021
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Have you ever heard Iwayado-tansu? It is the traditional furniture of Iwate, Japan. Tansu means Japan's chest. They say woodworking's been prosperous there since the 18th century. And we can say Iwayado-tansu are the wooden furniture with the local specialty. They produced not just the chests but also the Buddhist altars with their traditional technique today, I heard.



The furniture are mainly made of keyaki (zelkova) or paulownia wood whose grain looks beautiful. They politely touch up, and use lacquer for the finishing. It is said they have to wipe with lacquer several times (about six times) for making the grain look more graceful, for letting the furniture long-lasting.

Why do they have to wipe with lacquer several times? It is not mysterious you wonder so. Usually, wood start deterioration just after the construction. Wiping with lacquer several times gives wood a solid film, makes them last very long. They say historic shrines and palaces were surely wiped with lacquer several times.



And the handmade handles are made of the Nambu Ironware, it is also popular as the Iwate specialty. That the chests are completely made in Iwate, I can say. What does it mean? You can feel the Iwate history and tradition any time if you use the chest in your daily life.


Iwayado-tansu Production Union (Japanese)





 

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