The Fuchu Chest is said to have originated with a Mr. Uchiyama, who had
learned the technique for producing chests in Osaka and returned to Fuchu,
transferring the technique there around the Hoei era (1704-1711) and Shotoku
era (1711-1716). In the Fuchu district, from the late Edo to Meiji eras, farmers
produced trousseau chests to supplement their incomes.
The farmer made chests of chestnut or cedar by himself only, putting his
whole originality, idea, heart and soul into each one. The chests manufactured
were small sanjaku chests which had small drawers to contain tools, important
documents, such as graduation certificates and even umbilical cords (preserved
according to Japanese custom), in addition to regular size main drawers to
Now, Fuchu trousseau chests are manufactured at large factories with
modern facilities and are known throughout the country as high quality trousseau
sets consisting of Japanese chests, chests of drawers and wardrobes.
Trousseau chests known all over the country (Photograph taken circa 1994)
In the Ritsuryo era (7-10 century), the kokuhu (ancient provincial government office) of the Bingo area was located in Fuchu City. It is now established as an inland industrial city, having developed with new industries on the climate of a long history. Fuchu features the textile industry, descending from Bingo-gasuri (kasuri/gasuri means splashed-pattern kimono), one of the three big names for kasuri in Japan, and special products, such as savory Fuchu Miso (soybean paste).