A Japanese tansu cabinet in three sections, most likely a choba dansu merchants chest.
There us a paper sticker to the internal that denotes that the makers of this piece had a royal warrant from Emporer Taisho.
Tansu is the term given to the antique cabinetry of Japan developed from the Japanese need for storage that would not clutter their small living spaces. Most tansu are portable chests made to be kept in storage lofts or kuras. A choba dansu was the style of tansu made for use on the raised platform area of a shop or inn to store important items such as business documents, seals, money, and stationery.
They came with a key so that thieves could not easily steal the contents, and many had secret compartments. As they were visible to customers, they were a symbol of wealth and made of high-quality materials. They were durable, beautiful, and functional.
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