photo Iwayadotansu


Iwayado Tansu, wooden chests of drawers, are produced and sold mainly in Oshu City, Iwate Prefecture, and are considered to have first been made in the late Heian period under the aegis of the prosperous Oshu Fujiwara clan. It was not until the Meiji period that the chests were taken up by ordinary households. Their key features are the hand-carved metal and Nambu ironware fittings used as dignified adornment; designs include dragons, lions, or arabesque patterns and give a feel of substance and gravitas to these superb items of furniture. The beauty of the wood grain deepens after much polishing and long years of use. There are also several types of unique chests: a stair chest serving as steps, a ship chest used as an onboard safe, and a movable chest with wheels.


Production Areas

Oshu and Morioka Cities in Iwate Prefecture

Sights to See

Morioka Castle Site Park (The ruins of the Morioka Castle are now used as a park. A wide variety of trees and flowers display the four seasons.)

Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park (A historical theme park reproducing the Heian period. The park is sometimes used for a NHK long-running TV drama or period dramas.)