TansuTansu are a traditional style of wooden Japanese storage cabinet and are used throughout the home. Tansu designed for storage of clothes are an obvious candidate for an oriental themed bedroom, however there are also a wide variety of general storage chests in the tansu style.
What Are Tansu?Tansu is a generic Japanese word referring to almost any form of cupboard or chest of drawers. Specific styles have their own individual names which in the English transliteration often end with -dansu. Different regions of Japan also had their own distinctive styles of furniture manufacture and design, however a common theme is simplicity with clean, unfussy lines.
Tansu was especially popular in Japan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries before more Western influences began to dominate. Traditional pieces from this era are very popular with collectors. Today there are a number of specialist manufacturers from whom you can buy both reproduction antique tansu and new contemporary designs.
Some of the most striking and unusual tansu are the step chest variety (kaidan-dansu) - these originally doubled as both a storage cabinet and a set of stairs! The lack of handrails or other safety features make these a questionable choice for practical use as steps today, however they make an interesting talking piece.