15 Best Japanese Furniture Of All Time
Published: April 8, 2021
Modified: June 30, 2021
Written by: Kevin Ashwe
Japanese furniture is in a league of its own. Classy and sophisticated, here are the best options you'll never regret getting.
Imagine that every single item you owned had a place and purpose in your home. This is the best way to capture the beauty of a traditional Japanese living room. While each piece is simple, it has its own set of functions and elegance that adds value to the living area of the family to which it belongs. The influence of Japanese culture is evident in the tiny details of each piece. This article will introduce you to the best Japanese furniture that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
What Is Japanese Furniture?
Japanese furniture relies on the use of natural materials such as bamboo, fine woods, silk, rice straw mats, and paper. It blends modern elements with traditional Japanese design in an artful manner. The result is furniture that is simple, comfortable, and flexible.
Who Are The Pioneers Of Contemporary Japanese Design?
Japan is a major force in the area of furniture design. Global brands and designers regularly imitate the Japanese style as it’s simple yet functional. In this article, we look at the names that have shaped Japanese design, from the traditional to the contemporary. Here are Japanese furniture designers’ 20th-century contributions to the world of furniture.
1. George Katsutoshi Nakashima (1905 – 1990)
This American-born Japanese woodworker, architect, and furniture maker was one of the leading innovators of 20th-century furniture design. He is also recognized as a father of the American craft movement. Nakashima’s signature works were large tables made of large wooden panels with smooth panels but unfinished natural edges, which consist of several panels connected with butterfly joints.
2. Kappei (Katsuhei) Toyoguchi (1905 – 1991)
Kappei is one of the pioneers in modern Japanese design. Most of his work involving furniture design is now a part of the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS).
3. Watanabe Riki (1911 – 2013)
He was involved in creating the interiors of several famous buildings, including the Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo Hilton (currently Capital Tokyo), and Prince Hotel. Immediately after the Second World War, Riki made use of his skills as a furniture maker to design beautiful furniture using affordable materials.
4. Isamu Kenmochi (1912 – 1971)
Isamu Kenmochi was one of the pioneers in the Japanese design industry. He adopted Westernism as part of his quest to create what he called modern Japanese furniture. In 1990, the production of his “stacking stool” exceeded one million units. The stool offers a touch of beauty, simplicity, and functionality, all of which represent the Kenmochi style. In the summer of 1950, a short collaboration with the sculptor Isamu Noguchi resulted in the creation of the bamboo basket chair. However, the chair was never manufactured. The prototype got lost but was later reproduced from photographs.
Karimoku furniture is Japan’s largest wooden furniture manufacturer. Based in Japan, they have also teamed up with a renowned Danish studio, Norm Architects, to construct four pieces of wooden furniture for a renovation project in Tokyo. Moreover, this brand currently represents contemporary furniture design in Japan.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular pieces of Japanese furniture that feature Japanese design and style. They are as follow:
Affordable Japanese label Zen’s Bamboo designed an ergonomic coffee table to meet all of your needs. Place it either on the bed or on the floor to enjoy a delicious meal with relatives and friends, work on your latest project, etc. Since it’s highly portable, you can take it anywhere. Additionally, this table comes with a canvas basket to hold snacks, books, stationery, and much more.
It’s easy to set up with the assembly tools which come with the package. The cushion includes both canvas and sponge, making it comfortable to sit on it. Overall, it’s a super eco-friendly choice you won’t regret getting.
Mustmat is well suited for spaces like bedrooms, zen rooms, meditation spaces, yoga spots, and Japanese tearooms. Its surface is made from 100% rush grass, while its back is composed of non-woven fabric. You can easily fold this piece to store among your items and carry it around. Not only is it perfect for relaxing, but it also gives plenty of back support. However, one drawback of this Japanese piece is the unusual smell it gives off due to the rust grass, which some people won’t be able to tolerate.
But not to worry: by placing it in a well-ventilated place for about a day, you should be able to minimize the odor. Ensure that you clean the surface of the mat with a dry towel and allow it to dry in an airy area. Above everything, avoid exposing it to the sun. Exposure to sunlight can easily cause yellowing, aging, breakage, and loss of color, which affects the mat’s appearance and lifespan. Remember to keep the surroundings dry and cool at all times.
This brand of furniture features furniture pieces that are built from eco-friendly materials. Highly durable, they will neither rust like metal nor pollute the environment like plastic. Apart from being sturdy and easy to assemble, the seat of this chair is also made from high-quality chopped memory foam and plush fabric. This ensures that you’ll be able to sit down comfortably on any floor. The HEA GH game chairs can are great for relaxing, reading, meditation, playing games, and more. Be it the living room or bedroom, it can fit well into any area of the house. For those who don’t like having to assemble your furniture, this product will be perfect for you due to its fuss-free approach.
H&U constructs an adjustable/ portable floor chair that’s suitable for sitting on the ground or any hard surface and bay window with perfect back support. This folding floor chair features a backrest that not only prevents laziness but also promotes healthy posture and prevents back pain. Additionally, the multi-functional floor chair is perfect for reading, watching TV, meditation, chatting, watching videos, and games. Furthermore, this portable brand of furniture is made out of mahogany wood and is easy to carry around. This chair can be folded flat and stored securely under your bed.
This Japanese-style floor chair is made from high-quality beech and thick sponge for maximum durability. The 360° option features a clean-cut and elegant design that is complemented by a comfortable cushion that promises hours of pain-free seating. Wear-resistant and breathable, it is suitable for both adults and children. Moreover, it also features an ergonomic backrest that promotes healthy posture and prevents back pain. Not only is the backrest stable and able to accommodate the average adult comfortably (150kg/330lbs load capacity), it also adheres to the body’s contours so you’ll feel really comfortable.
This intricate creation has been carefully designed to satisfy a wide variety of needs. Watch TV, read, play games with family, chat with friends, or lie down and take things easy — this chair lets you do whatever you want in your own space and time.
DUOSHIDA Tatami Cushion is the result of a masterful blend of handwoven natural rush straw with cattail by highly skilled artisans. It cleverly utilizes thick, rustic, breathable, and natural fabric that is hand-knitted for home decor that will never go out of style. This seat mat features an eco-friendly and sustainably harvested straw that is stain-resistant; a seasonal natural fiber in combination with high-quality EPE sponge foam wadding. Furthermore, the cushion is straw-woven with a padded sponge foam futon, making it porous and mold-proof. This means you won’t have to worry about exposing it to moisture, making it suitable for even outdoor activities.
Traditionally used on tatami mat floors for meditation or learning, you can’t go wrong with this brilliant option. Asian furniture has become popular in the United States for their simple yet sturdy designs. This tatami chair is handmade, portable, and features an elegant indigo geisha pattern (fine printed Japanese style fabric). It is ideal for comfortable seating at floor level and for playing video games.
This gorgeous multi-purpose Japanese tea table is made from rubberwood and boasts a unique storage space at its side that is perfect for storing your collection of books and magazines. Moreover, you can even store your TV remote in the storage area. The piece is super easy to assemble and comes in two different sizes that you can select from.
The Plum Blossom 4-Panel Screen Room Divider is stylish with a clean design. It is a simple but effective way to achieve separation within a room without having to build a permanent wall partition. This Japanese-inspired room divider is perfect when it comes to creating privacy in small spaces. It’s ideal if you want a little privacy in a specific room in your home. This piece of furniture is lightweight but comes with a stable frame constructed of wood with a black finish. Easy to move and foldable for flat storage, it is the ultimate decorative solution for your home.
Under one foot high, this Japanese flower lantern is of an appropriate size and emits a lovely glow at all times. It is a wonderful addition to coffee tables, shelves, desks, outdoor patios, mediation rooms, etc. Furthermore, the shade features real cotton string interwoven with real bamboo leaves or Japanese flowers. Each lampshade is unique as it’s handmade. Also noteworthy is the fact that this item meets UL certification.
PLLXY Japanese Wood Legless Chair may be small, but don’t underestimate it: it is sturdy and can hold items or loads of up to 220lb easily. It features a comfortable sponge cushion that has a thick high resilience foam filling. The edge of the chair is smooth so as to protect you or members of your family from getting hurt. This portable and multifunctional product are ideal for playing games or enjoying your tea time on the floor. No assembly is required.
The straw cushion is made from premium rush straw that is 100% natural and will not cause skin irritation. Its simple and decorative appearance evokes a sense of rustic charm and elegance, while its neutral color means it will complement other furniture in your house easily. Soft but durable, it can fit on dining chairs, sofas, and other nooks and crannies in your house. Add a touch of the countryside to your house today! Warning: avoid exposing it to burning cigarettes or open flames.
This product is great for people who are not used to sitting upright with their legs folded. It’s a nice compromise that involves sitting in a Japanese-style chair the Western way. Simply sitting on the floor in Japanese style, at tea ceremonies, and at events (you do this by sitting on the chair and putting your legs between the floor and a seat of the chair). These are handmade products are crafted by well-trained Japanese artisans in Japan. They’re made mainly of rattan and other natural materials like bamboo.
Kotatsu Japanese heated tables are the perfect fusion of premium quality with luxury wood grain design. You can assemble this item without the need for any tools. You can also put a kotatsu futon blanket between the table leg and the tabletop board. In contrast to the central system, Kotatsu is an excellent way of warming up. Switching on and off can is easy thanks to a built-in switch. The temperature of this table can also be adjusted to your liking using the button on the heater. Up to four people can sit around it at the same time, making it great for cozy gatherings.
This Japanese Kotatsu Heater Square Shape Table (Azumaya / KT-107) is AC 100-Voltage, 510-Watt, and 50-60Hz. It has a temperature control knob and an on/off power switch cable plug. This kotatsu has four unique corners that you can hold and glue to the futon comforter when you put the futon comforter between the tabletop. The table measures 15 inches in height from the ground. It also has a walnut brown veneer horizontal surface tabletop with a satin finish and natural solid rubberwood legs. However, do note that you may need a voltage converter (from Japanese 100V to USA 120V ones for the USA) for it to work.
Frequently Asked Questions About Japanese Furniture
1. What Is Japanese Interior Design?
The Japanese interior design direction is easily identifiable by its usage of natural materials like bamboo and flower arrangements (Ikebana). It catches the attention of those who like simplicity and properly structured space with a minimal amount of furniture.
2. What Is A Japanese Tansu Chest?
A Japanese Tansu chest refers to a Japanese traditional mobile box-shaped piece of furniture with doors or drawers for storing a variety of items. Tansu is indigenous to Japan. The woods used in making tansu include Kuri (chestnut), Ezo Matsu (pine), Keyaki (elm), Sugi (cedar), Kiri (paulownia), and Hinoki (cypress).
3. What Are The Low Japanese Tables Called?
Low Japanese tables are also known Chabudai, short-legged tables that are commonly found in traditional Japanese houses. The original Chabudai has a height that ranges from 15 cm to a maximum height of 30 cm. The four legs of a Chabudai are usually collapsible, so you can move the table around with ease. Some also come with storage compartments.
4. What Is Horigotatsu?
A Horigotatsu is a kind of traditional Japanese table that lies low on the floor and has a recessed floor underneath so that people can stretch their legs out. This allows guests to sit in a tatami area just like they do in a western-style chair.
5. What Is Hinoki Wood?
Hinoki is one of the most beautiful types of wood in Japan. This tree is a kind of cypress that is sacred and only grows in this part of the world. Since ancient times, Hinoki has been commonly used as a building material in Japan. It is frequently used in the construction of temples and shrines.