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Japanese Furniture

Traditional Japanese rooms are uniquely furnished with low furniture, sliding doors, folding partitions, alcoves, thick woven mats, and portable futon beddings. This Japanese furnishing style is known as "washitsu." The most distinctive of Japanese furniture is the presence of the tatami woven straw mats that cover the surface of a washitsu-style room’s flooring.

Color and patterns in Japanese rooms often take the form of standing or sliding screens. These partitions serve to provide privacy and separation from room to room while also creating a focal point. While standing or sliding screens can often be created simply with a grid-like wooden skeleton lined with paper, some are very intricately decorated wood panels with inlaid wood or mother of pearl. Artists and calligraphers also use the standing or sliding screen as a medium of expression with colossal landscape and nature paintings often featured on these paper screens.

As sitting on the tatami mat floor is most common in Japan, tables are built very low to suit the practice. Modern Japanese spaces are often very small as well, creating an emphasis on storage and putting things away when not in use. Japanese cabinets, desks, and cupboards usually feature many shelves in order to keep belongings out of sight.


Quick Facts

  • Tatami mats are so common in Japan that they are often used to indicate the size of a room. In fact, the luck of a room is determined by how many mats can be placed in a room, and in a particular formation
  • In samurai culture, the shogun’s room in a castle usually featured a very extravagant sliding screen. The sliding screen often depicted images that would reinforce the solitary wisdom of the shogun
  • Traditional Japanese beds are often foldable futons that are kept in closets until bedtime. These futons are laid on the floor at night and packed away into a closet again in the morning

Recommended Items at Auction

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Robert Crowder Beverly Hills Japanese Style Screen
Dec 18, 12:00 PM EST
Robert Crowder Beverly Hills Japanese Style Screen
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $600- $800
$1001 Bid
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JAPANESE FOUR-PANEL SCREEN Meiji Period Height 54.5”. Length 76”.
Dec 06, 9:30 AM EST
JAPANESE FOUR-PANEL SCREEN Meiji Period Height 54.5”. Length 76”.
by Eldred's
Est: $300- $600
$1501 Bid
Antique Japanese Carved Bamboo Lamp
Dec 03, 9:30 AM EST
Antique Japanese Carved Bamboo Lamp
by Rafael Osona Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$2500 Bids
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A pair of 19th century Japanese Meiji period patinated bronze censers
Dec 03, 6:45 PM EET
A pair of 19th century Japanese Meiji period patinated bronze censers
by Loudos Auctions
Est: €300- €500
€3000 Bids
A LEAF RELIEF SIDE TABLE
Dec 07, 9:30 AM CET
A LEAF RELIEF SIDE TABLE
by Nagel Auction
Est: €70- €80
€700 Bids
A FOUR-LEGGED CIRCULAR RELIEF WOOD TABLE WITH CENTRAL POLYCHROME DRAGON MEDALLION
Dec 08, 9:30 AM CET
A FOUR-LEGGED CIRCULAR RELIEF WOOD TABLE WITH CENTRAL POLYCHROME DRAGON MEDALLION
by Nagel Auction
Est: €900- €1,500
€9000 Bids
A TALL WOOD RELIEF TRIPPLE-DRAGON BENCH
Dec 08, 9:30 AM CET
A TALL WOOD RELIEF TRIPPLE-DRAGON BENCH
by Nagel Auction
Est: €1,500- €2,500
€1,5000 Bids
A LARGE WOOD ALTAR SHRINE (BUTSUDAN)
Dec 08, 9:30 AM CET
A LARGE WOOD ALTAR SHRINE (BUTSUDAN)
by Nagel Auction
Est: €1,500- €2,500
€1,5000 Bids
20th century Japanese hand painted wall screen cherry blossom design
Dec 18, 10:00 AM PST
20th century Japanese hand painted wall screen cherry blossom design
by Global Auctions Company
Est: $200- $300
$1800 Bids
5 Antique Japanese Table Lamps
Dec 14, 10:00 AM EST
5 Antique Japanese Table Lamps
by Material Culture
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Japanese Red Lacquer Candle Holders and Table Platform
Dec 14, 10:00 AM EST
Japanese Red Lacquer Candle Holders and Table Platform
by Material Culture
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
Japanese folding screen with gold leaf, cranes in a landscape
Dec 18, 10:00 AM PST
Japanese folding screen with gold leaf, cranes in a landscape
by Global Auctions Company
Est: $600- $800
$4500 Bids
PAIR JAPANESE KOTATSU STAND
Dec 04, 1:00 PM EST
PAIR JAPANESE KOTATSU STAND
by Charleston Estate Auctions
Est: $100- $125
$50 Bids
Japanese Metal-Mounted Lacquered and Hardwood Tansu
Dec 08, 11:00 AM EST
Japanese Metal-Mounted Lacquered and Hardwood Tansu
by Stair
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$1,0000 Bids
EINE GROSSE STEHLAMPE AUS BRONZE
Dec 08, 10:00 AM CET
EINE GROSSE STEHLAMPE AUS BRONZE
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €700- €1,400
€7000 Bids
Japanese Cherry Blossom Table Folding Screen
Dec 11, 11:00 AM EST
Japanese Cherry Blossom Table Folding Screen
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $200- $400
$500 Bids
JAPON, 19ème SIECLE Guéridon
Dec 09, 2:30 PM CET
JAPON, 19ème SIECLE Guéridon
by Accademia Fine Art
Est: €150- €300
€1500 Bids
A mother-of-pearl, bone and lacquer two leaf screen
Dec 11, 3:00 PM CET
A mother-of-pearl, bone and lacquer two leaf screen
by Antenor Auction
Est: €500- €800
€5000 Bids
19th Century Tansu Chest
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
19th Century Tansu Chest
by Roland Auctions NY
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
MORITA SHIRYÛ (1912-1998)
Dec 08, 9:30 AM CET
MORITA SHIRYÛ (1912-1998)
by Nagel Auction
Est: €80,000- €120,000
€80,0000 Bids
A FOUR-PANEL SILK SCREEN WITH AN EMBROIDERED DECORATION OF CRANES
Dec 16, 11:00 AM CET
A FOUR-PANEL SILK SCREEN WITH AN EMBROIDERED DECORATION OF CRANES
by Bertolami Fine Art
Est: €200- €300
€1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Furniture


Eldred's

Eldred's

Veilinghuis Van Spengen

Veilinghuis Van Spengen

Nagel Auction

Nagel Auction

Material Culture

Material Culture