Located in the same land as it was first founded 140 years go, Monmaya is the most well established brand in Sendai-tansu (Sendai cabinet) manufacturing.
Being particular about ‘genuine inheritance’ our cabinets and drawers are custom made and repaired meticulously by hand using Japanese grown timber, Joboji lacquer (extracted from trees in Iwate prefecture, Japan) and artisan made tools that are spirited by their ingenuity.
Monmaya can ‘repair’ an old cabinet as though brand new. We are able to provide such quality having our own workshop where we practice our inherited traditional techniques. Until the early 1920s, Sendai-tansu manufacturing was mainly done through division of labor. It was the third successor Tamizo, who wanted the tansu craftsmen to carry out their craft with responsibility and pride. He started a system where one whole cabinet can be custom made and repaired. Through the system, many craftsmen were trained to top standards. In inheriting his belief we continue to train craftsmen and manufacture indifferent to the past, as we must let such traditional skills be inherited to the future.
Seventh Successor, Kazuhiro Monma
There are many theories as to its beginning but it is generally said that the Sendai-tansu’s origin dates back to when the samurai Masamune had ruled the Sendai region. The chief carpenter of that domain, Hyuga Umemura was commissioned to build it as a part of a fitting to Masamune’s castle.
The Sendai-tansu’s characteristic is the strong durable beauty that is the joint artistry of cabinetwork, lacquer, and metal fitting into one form. In the cabinetwork, the front is made of Keyaki (a form of Zelkova) aged from ten years to a few decades and the inside is made using Kiri (Paulownia, also commonly known as Empress tree) to avoid deformation. The lacquering is done mainly using Joboji lacquer through a technique of ‘Kijiro-nuri’ where lacquering and polishing is repeated thirty times over in layers. Finally, it is complete after being adorned with metal fittings that have representations associated with good fortune or the family emblem as motifs.
The Second Chapter
Inheriting the fundamental, a new way of craftsmanship
‘monmaya +' is Monamaya's new initiative.
In Monmaya’s endeavor to further evolve, in 2012 we welcomed an artist renown
for her superb collaboration with traditional crafts, Hiroko Takahashi as art director.
Together with designers that share our philosophy, we strive to attain a level of
‘craftsmanship’ that transcends the globe, across borders and nationalities.
A slender and refined form born from applying modern tastes to Monmaya's traditional techniques. A new kind of Sendai-tansu that will add vivid color to the present day lifestyle.
Color: Dark Brown,
Finish: Japanese lacquer
Size (mm): W990*D420*H745
Material: Zelkova, Japanese cedar, Paulownia, Copper, Iron
Fun, new and bright. This is the Sendai-tansu series that has diversity, born from the traditional techniques woven by history connecting with present tastes.
Finish: Persimmon tannin
Size: Various sizes available
Material: Zelkova, Iron
1977, born in Saitama. 2006, Establishes HIROCOLEDGE Co., Ltd.
2008, completes PhD. in Crafts from Tokyo University of the Arts.
With original patterns constructed by circles and straight lines, she uses various mediums for her expressive practice.
1966, Born in Hiroshima, Head of t.n.a. Design Studio.
Graduated with MA in Furniture Design.
2005, having left AZUMI, establishes her current studio.
Produces furniture, household and electrical products, lighting, shop and office interiors, exhibition displays and more. Also performs research projects focusing on materials and processing methods.
1976, born in Awaji-shima, Hyogo. After graduating from Kanazawa College of Art, employed in a household appliances manufacturer.
2008, Having left the manufacturer establishes JIN KURAMOTO STUDIO. Offers designs for international clients in various product development projects in furniture, home electronic appliances, daily necessities, etc. Recipient of several awards including iF Design Award, Good Design Award.