Sendai *tansu* (chests) are of course perfect for storing items, but they are also beautiful decorative items in their own right.
Monma Tansu has been making fine Sendai *tansu* for more than 100 years. It is one of Sendai's most famous makers, carrying on a tradition that has lasted for nearly four centuries. The chests and other furnishings made at Monma Tansu are steeped in the history of the samurai. In the 17th century, Japan was unified, and the samurai lords enjoyed a period of relative calm. The lords of northern Japan lavished fine wares on themselves including Sendai *tansu*, which were handy for storing swords. Monma Tansu also makes other furnishings using the same meticulous craftsmanship.
These chests were made using multiple layers of the finest Japanese lacquer, which was produced from the best lacquer trees in Japan. The wood used for the exterior was traditionally *keyaki* (zelkova). The wood is hard, heavy and dense, and is most recognised for its beautiful and strong grain. Other woods, most notably paulownia, are also used in Sendai *tansu*.