‘Chabako’ are traditional Japanese wooden cedar boxes dating from the late Edo period, originally used for the storage and transportation of Japanese tea. Numerous innovative design features such as a tin-lined interior makes them moisture-proof, insect-proof, and oxidation-resistant – an ideal storage box for more than just tea. These quality sustainable boxes deserve a fresh look today.
In the 1950’s the introduction of cardboard and aluminium bags as an alternative for tea transport and storage threatened to make the Chabako box obsolete.. However, due to its high functionality, Chabako were repurposed and used to store many other kinds of items such as clothing, photo-albums, and dried foods .
「Chabako SUI」 A Japanese Traditional Art Craft
Interior Chabako Club Ltd.’s tea boxes are made in Kawane Honmachi, Shizuoka prefecture by master Hiroshi Maeda and his successors. Their indisputable skills are evidenced by the excellence award they received in Shizuoka Prefecture in 2018.
The high-quality product is carefully and meticulously manufactured using cedar wood from Kawane Honcho. In general, the wood to be used (usually more than 30 years old) is exposed to the weather for at least two months, then weighed down and dried to prevent distortion and warping.
As with many other traditional handcrafting industries, the demand for Chabako continues to decline, and with it the number of artisans able to make them. As of January 2020, only 5 factories remain operational nationwide. However, we are tirelessly working to stimulate demand by creatively adapting and experimenting numerous ways to repurpose Chabako, thereby increasing their value to modern customers.
Chabako-SUI is our high-end Interior Chabako line:
Culturally rich, elegant, and functional. Simple, traditional hand-crafted Japanese tea boxes are artfully combined with the world’s finest fabrics and materials to create stunningly beautiful, highly practical interior furnishings
Since the mid-1950s, foreigners living in Japan have been enjoying a Japanese style craft covering Chabako with Japanese cloth and calling them “Nuno-hari Chabako” (cloth-covered tea boxes). Our “Interior Chabako🄬” took inspiration from and expanded on this concept, with a focus on:
- usability, design and technology;
- fabric from Japan and all over the world; and
- incorporating skills and techniques of master artisans from various other Japanese handcrafting fields.
Over twenty years later, we have arrived at Chabako-SUI.