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Centuries-old aesthetics meet modern travel convenience.

If you’ve ever seen pictures of an old-fashioned Japanese house or historic building, you can see that, traditionally, Japan wasn’t very big on interior furnishings. Tables were folded up or carried away when not in use, bedding was placed in a storage compartment after waking up, and in general every effort was made to maximize the amount of open space in a room.

One piece of furniture that’s had a place in Japanese homes for centuries, though, is the tansu, a wooden chest of drawers with a multitude of compartments and subtly ornate ornamentation. Typically blocky in appearance, tansu have a solid, immobile air to them, providing a rare hint of permanence in the otherwise variable Japanese interior of eras past.

So it’s more than a little surprising to see one that’s also a rolling suitcase.

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The design comes from Sukehiro Yamaguchi, a former salaryman who quit his job at a construction machinery company to go into woodworking. Yamaguchi is now the owner of Fukui Prefecture-based custom furniture maker Furnitureholic.

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The individual drawers on the suitcase can all be opened and locked, just like an orthodox tansu. A handle extends from the top edge, and Yamaguchi has field tested the unique luggage while travelling on the Shinkansen high-speed rail network. He also says it’s compact enough to be used as an airplane carry-on item.

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If the pink fittings on the suitcase shown in the video are too girlish for you, Yamaguchi has also crafted an alternate version with black and white accents plus a different array of drawers.

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The tansu suitcase does have one drawback at this stage (well, two, if you count the fact that it’s not yet commercially available). At nine kilograms (19.8 pounds), it’s definitely on the heavy side. The two examples seen here are just prototypes, though, and Yamaguchi is currently working on ways to bring their weight down, giving travelers with a taste in old-school Japanese design peace of mind as they load up on souvenirs.

Related: Furnitureholic
Source: Grape
Top image: Furnitureholic (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: YouTube/山口祐弘, Furnitureholic (1, 2) (edited by RocketNews24)