Sendai Tansu

Sendai and the surrounding area, Miyagi Prefecture

Woodwork, lacquering, decorative metal fittings.
The legacy of the Sendai fiefdom’s sophisticated culture lives on

This elegant tissue box harmonizes with the modern interior decor

The tissue boxes provided in the SHIKI-SHIMA Suite Room and Deluxe Suite Room are special items created according to the techniques of Sendai Tansu, a traditional handicraft of Miyagi Prefecture. Experienced artisans meticulously carry out their respective parts of the process: preparing the Japanese zelkova wood, applying multiple layers of high quality, transparent lacquer in the kijiro-nuri wood treatment stage that brings out the woodgrain, and finally attaching the majestic metal fittings that are the most distinctive feature of Sendai Tansu. Sophisticated techniques that have been passed down through the centuries in the Sendai area are given full play in the elegant form of the tissue box, which is in perfect harmony with the modern design and interior decor of the train. The Date clan in Sendai has always placed great importance on samurai pride. That stance is also firmly incorporated in this small wooden box.

The Deluxe Suite Room tissue box. The beauty of the zelkova woodgrain is brought out by the kijiro-nuri finish.
Sturdy joinery, meticulous lacquering, and majestic metal fittings. The essence of Sendai Tansu is embodied in this small box.

The spirit and traditions of the Date clan are being handed down to posterity

The Sendai Tansu has its origins in the late Edo Era, when the Date clan encouraged low-ranking samurai to build these chests as a cottage industry. Ever since that time, Sendai Tansu chests have been treasured by samurai and merchant families as furniture to store their valuables and clothing. They are mainly made from zelkova or chestnut, with a kijiro-nuri finish to bring out the beauty of its grain. The characteristic heavy, majestic metal fittings are attached to complete the Sendai Tansu. These fittings use motifs such as lions, dragons and peonies, and are attached to the handles and locks. The Meiji Era saw increasing diversity in the types of lacquer and fitting motifs used, and the chests were also exported overseas. Although many traditional Japanese handicrafts died out in the post-war period, cooperative associations of companies and ateliers are taking on new challenges, such as creating chests that harmonize with contemporary interior designs. Formed in the unique, dazzling culture of the Michinoku region, quite unlike that of the Kyoto area, the spirit and traditions of the Date clan are still being handed down to posterity.
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