Kishu TansuKishu Paulownia Chests

Late in the Edo era, the castle towers of Wakayama Castle were burnt down by thunderbolt, and many tools have become ash.
When we rebuilt the castle tower four years later, description that box thing furniture to last a long time which has been lost at the same time was remade remains. In addition, ancient documents and chest of the mid-19th century are discovered in house in the town of various places throughout Wakayama, and it is revealed that chest as wedding ceremony furniture has been already made in Wakayama any place other than the samurai family in those days.

At the end of the Edo period (1600-1868), the tower of Wakayama Castle was destroyed when it was struck by lightening and much of the furniture was burnt to ashes. Records show that when the castle tower was rebuilt four years later, the chests and other cabinets, which had been lost in the fire, were remade. Further more, old books and chests dating back to the mid-19th century have also been discovered in town houses all over Wakayama Prefecture.

Paulownia (Paulownia Sieb. et Zucc.) is highly suited for the making of chests, wardrobes and cupboards, being both soft and light, and possessive of a pale silver beige coloring and an elegant, beautiful grain. Kishu Tansu is also known for its meticulous workmanship and jointing called arihozo.

  • 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 ceiling and drawer more than 19 millimeters when thickness of board is to top plate, side plate, shelf board, bunch board and ground board; 7 millimeters of things.

    The joining of top plate for side plate, ground board and shelf board is thing by the next technique or technique.

    The joining of top plate for side plate is thing by any of the following.

    When is to thing except simple Japanese armor type, thing by composing type piece which there are former flagging down composing type pieces more than Class seven pieces, the former flagging down in or wrap, and there is, and cross piece.

    When is to simple Japanese armor-shaped thing, thing by dado joint re piece with trunk.

    Thing by flagging down composing type piece before being more than Class seven pieces as for the joining of ground board for side plate or dado joint re piece with trunk.

    The joining of shelf board for side plate is thing by dado joint re piece with trunk.

    Thing by composing type piece that there is parcel in the joining of material of drawer, parcel without hesitation piece, composing type piece which there is or composing type piece.

    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 19 millimeters, the joining of frame of heart is thing by flat flagging down piece.

    When is to frame thing, do with higher than 7 millimeters when there is to end plate more than 19 millimeters when there is thickness of board to material of frame, the joining of material of frame is thing by ryukei yatoizane piece.

    After finish was with uzukurikakeoshi, the yashabushio coloration to use, roumigakiosurukoto.

    Raw materials

    Assume bare wood drill.

    It be said that nail has product made in Japanese sunflower or materials which are equal to this.

    Metal fittings are copper, copper compound metal or to be iron.

  • Work scenery

    Kishu paulownia chest to be transmitted through from the Edo era. Thought of artisans who minded to part which is not visible comes through paulownia chest. We will see the delicate method of construction in order.

    Process 1: Logging and lumber production

    The first step made with superior chest begins by electing raw wood of good paulownia. Log of paulownia wood prepared thin of annual ring of 30-60 years years old is straight-grained board materials. In addition, we do choice materials to cross grain materials. It does not become processing materials immediately. We dry nature during two years from half a year. We bring up koreniyotteakunukigasare, beauty of grain of wood.

    Process 2: Board processing

    After long dry period, it is finally board processing. We cut board matching each part of chest to each size. Part equal to the front of door and drawer uses thing which laminated beautiful straight-grained board of grain of wood. We choose quality of tree and we check curve and knob, having wound or not and do timber conversion. We choose only beautiful board of straight-grained board of 2-3cm in width. And we paste and we fix well and pressure and do to one piece of board with board. And we finish to do plane (plane) cliff elaborately, and to become one piece of board.

    Process 3: Assembling

    Then, we begin process to assemble board cut by every each part. At first it is part of "trunk". We put rough cut in the part to put together perpendicularly and assemble. "We see group, and tenon" means this cutting deep into. There is kind of "half-blind joint type pattern practice with a partner tenon" where pattern practice with a partner is not seen from "ant type pattern practice with a partner tenon" and one. We assemble each part (top plate, shelf board, ground board, side plate, architrave) of "trunk" in this way. Before assembling of public performance, we perform temporary group adjustment just to make sure. Fitting into of ceiling drives tree nail quickly before paste dries. After the implantation, it is water bukioshimasu. When it lets nail adhere, this is because it restores nail welt. And we do smoothing plane after drying enough. It is to have thought about rusted time not to use common nail. Tree nail uses hard tree called "Japanese sunflower". Approximately 400 tree nails are used for one paulownia chest. It is completion of "trunk" in this. Next is part of "drawer". At first we do "tree homicide" before crossing "the pattern practice with a partner navel". We beat corner and mask and control, and tree and tree make it easy to cross. We recommend bottoming-out with tree nail, water buki, finish cut. It is well that other drawer which has already entered comes out how just drawer enters when what is tested puts one drawer. It is reason why does not just have gap. Next is part of "tray". We wind up with twine and fix frame. We fit baseplate and drive tree nail diagonally for the outside. After having dried, we reduce the outside in a circle and are completion. Planes more than 50 kinds will be used in conformity to various parts until it is completed.


    Video is played when we click image


    Video is played when we click image

    Process 4: Finish

    It is finally finish. At first we hang, "ugh, it is made". "Ugh, it is thing such as small broom which we bind root of "Karukaya" with hemp thread to be made" and bundled up. We polish with this carefully and we let you appear and do grain of wood beautifully. In addition, we make it easy to color. And we paint many layers with thing which we mixed real broth and dust becoming tree of yashabusha with and repeat to make grain of wood look beautiful more. Finally it is low bikioshimasu. And we attach door and put drawers together and are completion when we touch metal fittings last.


  • Close-up

    Feelings to Traditional Craft to see sun, guts of Kishu paulownia chest craftsman

    It is Kishu Tansu which completely colonized as top quality goods chest now, but it is result of effort of ten volunteers including Kiyoshi Uenaka that Director Kishu paulownia chest cooperative association is done now that came through difficulty to reach by here.


    The distance until traditional industrial art object authorization

    Production of traditional paulownia chests failed to rise by delay to the mechanization and rise of Western furniture. In about 1955, maker which there were approximately 80 decreased sharply in 20 companies at the time of 1984. We made chests leisurely whether nature of the locality of Kishu Wakayama or sense of impending crisis was poor. In this situation it is Uenaka in such a case to have stood up with "Akan". "We leave the name of production center. We started application preparations for Officially designated Traditional craft products authorization by determination to establish handmade brand. However, thing proving historically is not found even if anyone knows that chest is from Wakayama-shi. Naturally there is no evidence to have thought that there is. When we were beginning to give up, ancient documents about wedding ceremony preparations for (1856) were found in Kokawacho, Wakayama, hiwaka (family of 33s village headman) in (1853), 1774 in (1844), 1853 in 1844. We were listed clearly there saying "we buy in chest one Wakayama". As for Uenaka, it is told, "this became decisive factor" joyfully. We will finally receive authorization of Officially designated Traditional craft products following Kishu Shikki from preparations after three years. From Wakayama governor "Shiro Kariya" at the time "yoyatta. It is said that we still remember that it was said, he/she doubled traditional industrial art object of Wakayama well.

    Kishu paulownia chest

    We have you recognize genuine good point

    However, we were not popular only by having received authorization. We demonstrated by oneself in exhibition of department store and ran around each places of the whole country. Such a steady activity came to let market gradually recognize "paulownia chest of genuine Kishu". Uenaka who after participating in the opening of a new theater of Wakayama-shi multi-purpose hall as demonstration in 1999, talks about joy saying it "is called out by Their Majesties, and chest came with a tingle." In addition, we say that there was cooperation in the industry saying "we were helped toward the salesperson of department store where study is eager in very much". Kishu paulownia chest comes to have been acknowledged superiority and reaches in this way in now without demand coming off in recession. If there is the strong leadership of Uenaka, it may be said that we follow to here.

    Work scenery

    We still thank stern boss

    Uenaka took out apprenticeship of chest craftsman at the age of 14 years old 53 years ago. At that time, boss who arrived is takitani*korejo from Shingu. There was such an episode during ascetic practices by the cause of stern boss, too. "I failed to drive nail and drove substituted nail, but forgot that we pulled nail before. Boss sharpened this board with plane, but we were caught on nail which I forgot, and blade has been broken afterwards. Then plane thrown soon of cutoff flew in my very front." It is said that Uenaka learned heart to be careful with strictness and genuine article of work thanks to such a stern boss. The heart must be made use of in the making of paulownia chest from now on.

    Paulownia chest and Uenaka

    Craftsman profile

    Kiyoshi Uenaka

    It was born in 1933.
    We become pupil at 14-year-old time, and University of 53 is expert in career made with chest. Under Kishu Tansu Master of Traditional Crafts society, chairperson, association of Wakayama furniture association society, chairperson, other post successive occupations. Winning the majority such as Ministry of International Trade and Industry industry minister Prize, Governor of Wakayama Prize.


    Kishu Tansu this and that information

    We compiled information to be related to Kishu Tansu.
    Characteristic of paulownia
    At first it is necessary to think from characteristic of paulownia becoming material to talk about paulownia chest. "It is light, and, as for the first of characteristic, grain of wood is beautiful", and the second "has a small shrinkage rate", and the third "has block characteristics of moisture" and the fourth is, "the conductivity of heat is small".
    Characteristic of paulownia chest
    In other words, characteristic of paulownia features paulownia chest, but includes three of next when we give realistic characteristic. 1.Beauty of gentle feel of a material, color, grain of wood of paulownia matches both Japanese and Western rooms and brings on ease and elegant atmosphere. 2.When it is sensitive to fresh air and is humid, we suck water and as we have tsuneshitsusei providing moisture in drying, in the case of fires, we breathe water and it is flame retardant and is said to be saying "we bake the body and save the contents". 3.Paulownia chest has few expansion and contraction and confusion, and it is light, and carrying around is convenient and is the best for cabinet which he/she uses for many years.

    • Handsome Kishu paulownia chest




Industrial art object name Kishu Tansu
Phonetic symbol Chest to come, and to learn
Classification of industrial art object Woodcraft, Bamboo Craftwork
Main product Paulownia chest
Main production area Wakayama / Wakayama-shi
The designation date April 18, 1987

Contact information

■local production associations

Kishu paulownia chest cooperative association
23, Shichibancho, Wakayama-shi, Wakayama
Wakayama-shi business and industry promotion section industry promotion group
TEL: 073-435-1233
FAX: 073-435-1256

■Associated exhibit space, facility


Light yellow cortex is refined, and drill materials comprise characteristic suitable as material of cabinet to be light softly beautifully. Because work such as pattern practice with a partner is accurate finely, Wakayama is known.

Paulownia wood has an elegant pale-yellow bark which makes it the ideal material for beautiful, soft, light furniture like dressers, cabinets, etc. Wakayama is renown for very fine and precise handicrafts built with techniques such as kumite joining, etc.

How to make

We pull lye of paulownia materials, and nature dries, and * adjusts gi to necessary width. When we do board cut and put together into box, making of tenon such as "dovetail tenons" reaching as superior method for a long time and sulcular tsukiga line is broken. Finish cut of all parts is carried out in this way when we can assemble the body and drawer, door. Finally we finish the surface by method to keep taste of tree to do dyeing, wax (rou) polishing with broth of a kind of family crest Processed Aconite Root (yashabushi) which is natural dye alive beautifully.

After impurities have been removed and the paulownia wood has been allowed to dry naturally, pieces of the required width are peeled off. At the time of planing the boards and assembling them into boxes, the “dovetailing” method of making tenons and grooves which has been transmitted since ancient times is used. Then, when the body, the drawers and the door are assembled, each part is machine-finished. Finally, all surfaces are finished using techniques that bring out the beauty of the wood such as dyeing using a solution made with the yashabushi (alnus firma) natural dye and wax-polishing.

Voice from production center

Generally, shrinkage rate of wood is connected with specific gravity, and shrinkage rate is small so that specific gravity is small. There are few confusion and breaking and is suitable for storing of clothing to become only dry air in cell when paulownia dries once.

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