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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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A Japanese Kimono Chest, Paulownia Timber, Copper Warabite Style Handles, c.1920
Nov 03, 6:00 PM AEDT
A Japanese Kimono Chest, Paulownia Timber, Copper Warabite Style Handles, c.1920
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD300- AUD500
AUD2103 Bids
Lacquered Japanese Tanso Chest
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Lacquered Japanese Tanso Chest
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $20- $15,000
$201 Bid
A Pr of Japanese Fukagawa Koi & Crane Vases
Oct 30, 11:00 AM AEST
A Pr of Japanese Fukagawa Koi & Crane Vases
by Danielle Elizabeth Antique & Estate Auctioneers
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD1801 Bid
Collection of antique blue and white china
Oct 31, 7:00 PM AEDT
Collection of antique blue and white china
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD201 Bid
Large Japanese Cloisonne Armorial Vase
Oct 30, 1:00 PM EDT
Large Japanese Cloisonne Armorial Vase
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $20- $15,000
$201 Bid
Ledoux's 1930s Shipping Export Documents
Nov 16, 12:00 PM EST
Ledoux's 1930s Shipping Export Documents
by Willow Auction House
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
MASEREEL, F. La Colère. Berne, H. Lang, (1946). W. 20 full-p
Nov 17, 1:30 PM CET
MASEREEL, F. La Colère. Berne, H. Lang, (1946). W. 20 full-p
by Burgersdijk & Niermans
Est: €55- €70
€550 Bids
Japanese sculptor, 1st half of
Nov 04, 10:00 AM CET
Japanese sculptor, 1st half of
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1,7000 Bids
A Japanese Four Fold Textile Screen
Nov 11, 10:30 AM GMT
A Japanese Four Fold Textile Screen
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £400- £600
£3500 Bids
A Japanese Cast Bronze Model of a Prowling Siberian Tiger
Nov 11, 10:30 AM GMT
A Japanese Cast Bronze Model of a Prowling Siberian Tiger
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £500- £800
£4500 Bids
La Menthe-Pastille. 1904.
Nov 14, 11:00 AM EST
La Menthe-Pastille. 1904.
by Poster Auctions International Inc
Est: $1,400- $1,700
$1,1000 Bids
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Hisao Domoto, (1928-2013, Japanese), Untitled, Ink on wove paper under glass, Sheet: 14.625" H x 23.875" W
Nov 09, 11:30 AM PST
Hisao Domoto, (1928-2013, Japanese), Untitled, Ink on wove paper under glass, Sheet: 14.625" H x 23.875" W
by John Moran Auctioneers
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0000 Bids
Art japonais
Nov 03, 6:30 PM CET
Art japonais
by Vanderkindere
Est: €250- €350
€2400 Bids
FLAMBÉ-GLAZED WATER POT QING DYNASTY, 18TH-19TH CENTURY
Nov 05, 10:00 AM GMT
FLAMBÉ-GLAZED WATER POT QING DYNASTY, 18TH-19TH CENTURY
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £400- £600
£2000 Bids
Egon Schiele (After) - Edith Schile mit Hund Lord (Egon
Nov 18, 12:00 PM EST
Egon Schiele (After) - Edith Schile mit Hund Lord (Egon
by Dane Fine Art Auctions
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$5000 Bids
Ashitsu (Japanese: 和 室) is a Japanese term used to describe a room in a traditional Japanese style
Oct 31, 8:00 PM EET
Ashitsu (Japanese: 和 室) is a Japanese term used to describe a room in a traditional Japanese style
by Village Gallery Israel
Est: $825- $1,650
$5400 Bids
Japanese Bronze and Gilt Miniature Shoji Screen Divider
Nov 14, 10:00 AM PST
Japanese Bronze and Gilt Miniature Shoji Screen Divider
by Taylor & Harris
Est: $400- $600
$3500 Bids
Pr Vintage Japanese Mother Of Pearl Lacquer Stand
Oct 30, 11:30 AM EDT
Pr Vintage Japanese Mother Of Pearl Lacquer Stand
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $200- $400
$500 Bids
Fine Japanese Jizai-Kagi Kettle Hook, 19th C.
Nov 14, 10:00 AM EST
Fine Japanese Jizai-Kagi Kettle Hook, 19th C.
by Material Culture
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1,5000 Bids
Japanese Jizai-Kagi Kettle Hook, 19th C.
Nov 14, 10:00 AM EST
Japanese Jizai-Kagi Kettle Hook, 19th C.
by Material Culture
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0000 Bids
Japanese Silk Kimono, Mid 20th Century
Nov 15, 10:00 AM EST
Japanese Silk Kimono, Mid 20th Century
by Material Culture
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
2 Pairs of Antique Japanese Sashiko Fireman's Gloves
Nov 15, 10:00 AM EST
2 Pairs of Antique Japanese Sashiko Fireman's Gloves
by Material Culture
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
9 Antique Japanese Katagami Kimono Stencils
Nov 15, 10:00 AM EST
9 Antique Japanese Katagami Kimono Stencils
by Material Culture
Est: $500- $1,000
$2500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Japanese Furniture


Chiswick Auctions

Chiswick Auctions

Bonhams

Bonhams

TimeLine Auctions

TimeLine Auctions

Material Culture

Material Culture