According to a historical record, the making of chests in the Senshu region (the southern part of Osaka Pref.) started as early as 300 years ago. In the early days boxes and simple cabinetry items were made of cork tree (Phellodendron japonicum) and paulownia that were locally obtained. From the late Edo period to the Meiji period a large producing district was formed firstly around the city of Sakai and it gradually expanded all over the Enshu region. The feature of this craft is that the straight grain of paulownia is exploited and wooden pegs and joints are used in assembly. The material boards are fully air-dried for one or two years to prevent impurities from appearing on the wood surface. Paulownia boards of more than 20 mm thick are used, and for the front of the drawers the boards with clear straight grains are selected. The wood surface is then scrubbed and polished to improve the appearance. The paulownia chest is very durable, so if it is treated carefully especially with damp, it should last for 100 to 150 years. Most of the chests are made to order now.
- 1-19-8 Yoshii-cho, Kishiwada City, Osaka Prefecture, 596-0002