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Tansu: Kitchen Chests
Cabinetry for the storage of ceramics, foodstuffs, and tea wares offers us a variety of chests and cupboards for our own kitchen and entertainment storage needs. The history of such kitchen chests, known as Mizuya-dansu dates back to the Edo period in the town of Hikone near Lake Biwa. It was here that a tall stacking chest, placed near the cooking area, originated. They had plenty of drawers and sliding doors with a depth of 17-20 inches. Quite often the chests accumulated the rich red-brown patina of years spent near the smoke of cooking fires. Cha-dansu or tansu for the storage of tea wares were made throughout the Edo and Meiji periods as the cultural importance of the Chanoyu or tea ceremony attests. These cabinets can be made simple and extravagant depending on the use of wood and hardware.