Kamo Paulowina Chests

It seems that the making of Kamo Kiri Tansu began with one made by a carpenter in the early part of the 19th century. The very same chest is still being used in the city of Kamo today and it is inscribed on the back with ""Purchased 1814"".
In 1928 the yashatoso--a type of finishing varnish--was developed and the present design and style of the Kamo Kiri Tansu was completed. Nowadays, 70% of all paulownia chest made in Japan come from Kamo and are shipped all over the county.

Paulownia is a light colored wood with a sheen, a real sense of quality and a beauty that is likened to silk. The light colored quarter-saw boards of these chests look as though they have been lightly streaked with brown and the gain of this timber has a beauty unmatched by any other furniture. With perfectly fitting draws, they open and close easily, protect their contents from extremes of temperature, and offer long lasting projection.


The wood of the paulownia tree used for Kamo kiri tansu have a beautiful white luster with the same sense of quiet refinement as silk. The straight, dark brown wood grain, which looks like it was painted by a brush upon the pale wood, creates an elegant feeling that cannot be found in any other wooden furniture. While the drawers open and close very easily, they form an incredible seal when closed, keeping clothes safe from humidity and heat thanks to the drawer’s great hermetic properties.

How to make

The preparation of the wood requires milling, removing the resin, and then drying for nearly three years. The entire assembly process of joining the wooden boards, planing, assembling the mortise and tenon joints, and attaching metalwork decorations is done entirely by hand. It is truly an impressive sight to see the artisans working with hand-tools such as chisels and planes to create a product of such beauty and refinement.