Nihonmatsu style Distinctive two-latch lock plate and large size unmistakably identify these chests.
Matsumoto style Distinctive moneybag lock plates and Keyaki drawers and doors identify this. Matsumoto was a bustling castle town, home to a daimyo or local lord during the Edo period. It is known to this day for the fine woodwork produced in the region.
Yonezawa style Defined by cast Mokko (melon vine) style handles, and distinctive incised lock plates often depicting a butterfly with a brass-like rim called hakudo. A sugi carcass and Keyaki drawer fronts are standard for this style.
Kanto style The first chest on chest made in the Kanto style saw double doors with a mon, or family crest incised in the round lock plate. They were usually of samurai family origin; the only class permitted dark lacquer finishes. Kiriwood was used throughout these early designs with later chests having cedar (sugi) carcasses, and drawer interiors. Later Kanto chest on chest had no double doors. Now they are full width drawers and a small safe on the bottom chest. Unfinished kiriwood, which through time establishes it own rich patina, was the “finish” of the townsman. Decorative drawer lock plates show the ironsmith’s skill. Even later, the Kanto style changed; by late Meiji, the small safe was gone, and lock plates were simplified.