Kasukabe Kiri TansuKasukabe Paulownia Chests

Craftsman who gathered to make Toshogu, Nikko in the early period of Edo era settles down in Kasukabe that is post town of Nikko Kaido and is informed tree of drill produced at the outskirts when there is what have begun to make materials and armor-back held-flag and accessory which did by opening.
It is indicated that form of production center has begun to be already set because paulownia chest with supplier approximately ten being written down for documents which are in the middle of the Edo era and endorsement of "1772 (Meiwa 9)" exists.

At the beginning of the Edo period (1600-1868), craftsmen who had gathered to build the Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, took up residence in Kasukabe, an inn town along the old Nikko post road. It is said that these craftsmen were responsible for starting this craft by making cabinets and small articles out of paulownia taken from the surrounding area.
It is possible to gain some idea of where and when production in the area began from a document which was written in the middle of the Edo period, mentioning ten such craftsmen. Further evidence of these early beginning is a paulownia chest dated 1772 on the back that still exists today.

From as far back as the Edo period, these chests have been characterized by their linear design, quiet and simple appearance with no unnecessary decoration, having been fostered by a warrior culture which respected solidity and undecorated elegance. Wardrobes, chest of draws and more traditional chest are being made to the same guidelines today.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Drying is thing by naturally drying.

    Assume board to use pure board. In this case, when there is to baseplate of ground board, ceiling and drawer more than 10 millimeters when there is to bunch board more than 19 millimeters when thickness of board is to top plate, side plate and shelf board; 7 millimeters of things.

    By composing type piece that Class five pieces is more than in joining of top plate for side plate and ground board or composing type pieces which there is more than 11 pieces of groups or composing type piece which we wrap, and there is, the joining of shelf board is thing by fossula tenon piece.

    The joining of material of drawer is thing by parcel without hesitation piece, composing type piece or composing type piece which there is.

    When attach door or sliding door; thing by the next technique or technique.

    When is in Chinese brocade, it is said that thickness of board is more than 24 millimeters; the joining of frame of heart is thing by flat flagging down piece.

    When there is to door more than 20 millimeters when is to frame thing when there is thickness of board to material of frame, do with higher than 8 millimeters; the joining of material of frame is thing by flat flagging down piece or ryukei yatoizane piece.

    Use "foot nail" for side plate and the joining with foot.

    After finish did uzukurio polish to use and the biyashabushi coloration; roumigakiosurukoto.

    Raw materials

    Assume bare wood drill.

    Nail is product made in Japanese sunflower or to have materials which are equal to this.

    It be said that or copper, copper compound metal are iron as for the metal fittings.


  • Work scenery

    We fix on paulownia which grew in colonies, and craftsman who participated in building of Toshogu, Nikko in the early period of Edo era in Kasukabe Kiri Tansu, the origin settles down in the Kasukabe whole area that is post town along Nikko Highway and sails up in the times when we have begun to make furniture called armor-back held-flag using paulownia materials. We formed production center in the middle of the Edo era (about 1770) and, from location requirements near Edo, came to form paulownia chest, big production center of paulownia small box for (about 1830) in the Tenpo era year. It is Kasukabe Kiri Tansu to date afterwards to have had been inherited ceaselessly. There are few trees of paulownia in Kasukabe in now, but we put effort on study, and the technique is high.

    Process 1: Beginning to cut of raw wood

    Main material uses each Tohoku regional high quality paulownia for the main constituent by Aizu product. We use Hokkaido Magnolia obovata, mulberry, Japanese sunflower for vice-materials. At first we take into consideration to be able to make use of raw wood in paulownia chest to the maximum and cut. In the row of trees, Masaki does 5.5 millimeters of boards to produce in thickness after division into four in thickness from 9 millimeters to 21 millimeters.

    Process 2: Drying

    Stand and cross board which we made board to produce and expose to wind and rain by methods such as double cross heaping up and let you naturally dry for approximately four months from three months and dry the room more.

    Process 3: Tree dori process

    We perform tree dori process to make paulownia materials even with the same size next. We pull over after cutting off a little than dimensions of parts longer. masaban to use for surfacing pulls over curve of grain of wood and unevenness of grain of wood interval towards thing which is more linear, and is equal interval after revising.

    Process 4: Is out of order again; process

    Thing which distortion occurs to board, and bends revises curve or torsion using lever while warming by fire. One board which we revised does delicate adjustment with hand plane and laminates one piece of correct board nito to dimensions.

    Process 5: Cut process

    According to the dimensions, completed board is finished with plane more.

    Process 6: Assembling process

    Assembling does not use nail of iron and is stopped with nail of combination Japanese sunflower tree made well in tenon.

    Process 7: Finish

    At first finishing adjusts delicate condition and confusion after putting water on the surface of bare wood by brush, and restoring distortion. This thorough delicate work contributes to the fact that we also open well and close Sioux Meuse and have drawer or the title page. When adjustment is over, we do surface finish cut with plane. And we improve so that product ttauzukuride grain of wood appears with root of mosquito net neatly. Then, we decoct yashabushino and perform filler and the second coloration end with liquid and mixture of tofun (saw). Furthermore, we give root detsukuttauzukuride polishing grain of wood of mosquito net neatly. Finally we paint with wax (rou) and give luster. We attach metal fittings to necessary part afterward and are completion if we check by adjusting the whole.


  • Close-up


    Paulownia chest which revives

    Paulownia chest which is inherited from parent to child from child to grandchild. The quality is said not to change for 300 years. However, it is never avoided growing old in sunburn or dirt since we use natural material. Is it life soon? Please wait a minute before thinking about to. If hand of craftsman costs, Kasukabe Kiri Tansu using high quality domestic paulownia for revives wonderfully. At first we take off metal fittings which became old. And we make full use of scrupulous attention and technique not to sharpen too much and sharpen with plane thinly and give. Longtime experience and technical work that there is. Then clean grain of wood that how will be revives again. It is ability to regenerate of high quality paulownia and the technical skill to be able to accomplish of craftsman. When we hand over to child, at the time of moving, how about sending on recycling to old paulownia chest, craftsman of Kasukabe Kiri Tansu. We revive like new article and should be precious property again.


Industrial art object name Kasukabe Kiri Tansu
Phonetic symbol In the wall to lend, it is chest
Classification of industrial art object Woodcraft, Bamboo Craftwork
Main product Wardrobe, extraction (drawer) chest, wardrobe
Main production area Saitama / Saitama-shi, Kasukabe-shi, Koshigaya-shi, Shiraoka-machi, Minamisaitama-gun
The designation date August 3, 1979

Contact information

■local production associations

Kasukabe paulownia chest association
1-7-14, Nakacho, Iwatsuki-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama
Atsushi Kaneko
TEL: 048-756-0348
FAX: 048-756-0582

■Associated exhibit space, facility


As we have been brought up from old days of Edo by simple and sturdy samurai culture, it features design based on the quiet, simple appearance and straight line that abolished useless decoration.

From as far back as the Edo period, Kasukabe Kiri Tansu paulownia chests have been characterized by their linear design, quiet and simple appearance with no unnecessary decoration, having been fostered by a warrior culture which respected solidity and undecorated elegance.

How to make

Process of manufacture is divided into "raw wood sawing" "body processing" "each part processing" "coloration processing" "metal fittings installation" roughly. We spend a good labor and time on processing of board to fully draw beauty of material which is life of paulownia chest. We have a good command of traditional technique in junction and, using pure board (we repaid) of tree of drill which let you naturally dry enough, assemble firmly.

The method of producing the chests is largely divided into the steps of preparing the wood, assembling the body, assembling the various parts, coloring and then setting the metal finishings. To express the full beauty of the paulownia wood, the very soul of Kiri Tansu chests, no shortcuts are taken in the diligent preparation of the boards. After sufficient natural drying, the pure paulownia wooden boards are assembled using a variety of traditional joinery methods to produce a robust and sturdy finished product.

Voice from production center

As for the genuine paulownia chest, all junctions are made with pattern practice with a partner and wooden nail called "beating tree". As beating tree sees head in a circle, we know immediately. All the directions of eyes of tree are wide messengers, but, in the shelf in between drawer and drawer, imitation puts longitudinal drill materials on plywood.

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