100 Years with Paulownia and Family

In the past, a solid white paulownia chest was the symbol of a "bride's gift. "
The chest was filled with various thoughts and feelings of sending off a precious daughter
to a new family. That paulownia chest was then cherished by the new family,
spending a life together, then it was eventually passed down from mother to daughter,
weaving another new story along the way.

Soft, beautiful, graceful, and warm. Such genuine paulownia chests can only be produced
with traditional Japanese craftsmanship. Since the Meiji era, Azuma has continued its legacy
and remains a rare company in which all aspects of paulownia chest craftsmanship are
completed in-house. Currently, the fifth generation, who is a traditional craftsman of
Kishu paulownia chests, leads the company in tasks ranging from selecting wood,
processing wood, lacquer work, to specialized techniques such as curved wood artistry.

No matter how much the times change, there are "techniques" and "affection for family"
that remain unchanged. 100 years in the past, 100 years in the future, and beyond.
Azuma will continue to manufacture products that preserve the bonds of family.

Traditional Craftsmanship

The world of paulownia chests that are meticulously calculated,
with precision to the nearest 1/100th of a millimeter.
Here are some of the unique "techniques" of traditional craftsmen
who have inherited their sensitivities and skills.

Wrapped Dovetail Joint

This is a type of joinery where the edges of wooden boards are processed into concave and convex shapes and joined together as interlocking joints. This is a traditional technique that produces strong joints that are often used to join the side and front panels of drawers.

Fixed-form Dovetail Joint

The side and back panels of the drawer are beautifully joined with dovetail tenons at equal intervals. When viewed from above, it appears to be neatly joined, but when viewed from the side, it is firmly dovetail-joined and strong.

Wrapped Nailed Joint

A joining method used mainly for joints of box-shaped items such as paulownia boxes and drawers. It is strong due to double-sided adhesion, and the wood edges are neatly and elegantly connected, creating a pleasing aesthetic.
In addition, wood nails are driven in from the wood's outer surface, which further increases the joint strength.

Lacquering (Wipe Lacquering, Brushed Lacquering)

[Wipe Lacquering] A technique in which raw lacquer, made by refining the sap from a particular family of deciduous tall tree, is rubbed in repeatedly to finish the piece. It is also called "Rubbed Lacquering" because the lacquer is rubbed into the surface during the process.
[Brushed Lacquering] A technique in which layers of lacquer are applied by brush, such as a base coat, middle coat, and top coat, and the final top coat is left as is without further smoothing. The brushes used for finishing are made from women's hair.

Roasted Paulownia Persimmon Tannin Polishing Powder Finish

This is Azuma's unique technique invented by Hideki Azuma, Azuma's fourth president.
The paulownia wood is roasted with a flame to remove soot, then coated with a unique mixture of persimmon tannin and polishing powder and polished over and over.It is a coating that uses polishing powder, yet it is resistant to water penetration and does not allow water stains.

Roasted Paulownia Persimmon Tannin Finish

This technique involves roasting paulownia wood to remove soot and then applying persimmon tannin over the wood. The finish, achieved using sunlight and unique brushwork, is a reddish-black color with a deep, flavorful appeal. Persimmon tannin also adsorbs and decomposes formaldehyde, the cause of sick building syndrome.

Roasted Paulownia Finish

The roasted paulownia technique originates from the roasted finish used in koto (Japanese harp) crafting. We took this technique and established our original roasting method through a process of trial and error. We utilize different flame temperatures and shapes, making it possible for areas inside the doors of paulownia chests to have a two-tone finish with both natural paulownia and roasted paulownia, a feat previously considered impossible for roasted paulownia chests.
In addition, the roasting process does not use chemicals, which makes the finished product friendly to people and the environment.

Persimmon Tannin Finish

This finishing process involves using natural persimmon tannin and rubbing the undiluted solution into the chest. The use of natural persimmon tannin produces a pale orange finish.
In addition, the persimmon tannin coating will become more reddish with each passing day, giving it a matured look like a natural leather product.

Polishing Powder Finish

The beautifully planed and smooth surface of paulownia is polished with Ukizou made from the roots of cut sedge grass. By doing so, the summer and winter grain of the paulownia wood are accentuated. Polishing powder is then applied layer by layer onto the uneven surface, which is finally finished with wax.

Oil Coating

We use safe German-made Osmo-color, a unique coating that combines painting techniques cultivated in lacquer painting. Unlike ordinary oil coatings, it has a more pleasant feel and better water repellency.

Glass Coating

A proprietary liquid glass coating is applied that utilizes a paint that meets the standards of the Food Sanitation Law. It is a highly safe coating used not only for furniture, but also for wooden tableware thanks to its food-grade safety.