21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Iwayado Tansu has its origins in the late Heian period. Kiyohira Fujiwara invested a lot of energy into encouraging industry in the Iwayado area, famous for its zelkova, lacquer, and ironware, and this is when tansu started being made (tansu are a type of traditional Japanese furniture, like a chest of drawers). Later, in the Tenmei era, tansu on wheels were produced as part of a manufacturing drive by the lord of Iwayado, and during the Bunsei years engraved metal ornamentation was added. The style has been refined over the years as the traditional skills of the craft have been cherished and passed down through the generations.
The outer surfaces of tansu are made from zelkova, with its exquisite grains, while paulownia is used for the internal drawer parts as it does not readily warp. Then lacquer is carefully layered on top and hand-embossed metalwork depicting various scenes is added to create an imposing yet elegant item of Japanese furniture. Flamboyant metal adornments are a particular specialty of Iwayado tansu. Clearly carved lines depicting dragons, flowers, birds, arabesques, pines, bamboos, and many other designs serve to elevate each tansu's style. In recent times, the "Kurashina" series has been developed as everyday household furniture.
Address: Oshu-shi, Iwate
Airport: Hanamaki Airport