Tansu, the unique cabinetry of Japan, springs from a rich folk-art tradition that combines the skills of wood joiner, lacquer artist and iron smith, all renowned for their fine craftsmanship. Since Tansu were meant to be easily moved, they were reinforced with ironwork. There are less than five families in Japan still hand making ironwork for Tansu, and their work is exceedingly rare and expensive. About 100 years ago, several firms began using machinery, making Tansu hardware relative inexpensive and more readily available.
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