How the box culture developed in Japan.

What were the roots of the box in Japan? The box was also introduced from China as a Chinese chest. It can be said that without China, nothing can be said about Japanese culture.

The first boxes that came to Japan were used to store Buddhist ritual utensils. This eventually spread to be for sutras, kesa, and Buddhist rosary and so on. In those days, boxes were not necessary for the general public, and only tools related to the noble Buddhist religion were carefully stored and preserved in such boxes. This was also the case with Shintoism.
The box was first used to store tools for religious purposes.

As the Nara(710-784) and Heian(794-1185) periods progressed, boxes came to be used as containers for the furnishings of the nobility. Boxes were made according to the tastes of the individual, and the outer appearance became more extravagant than the contents.

By the Muromachi period (1333-1573), Japanese boxes were rapidly becoming more sophisticated. This was because boxes were needed as containers for armor and armors during the samurai period, which continued into the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods, and also because the movement of tools during wars became more intense, necessitating boxes to protect various tools.

In the Muromachi period (1333-1573), the cultures of incense and tea ceremony flourished, and boxes for storing incense and tea-related implements developed. The incense container is one of the indispensable tools of the tea ceremony. The box used to hold fragrant wood was converted directly into a tool for the tea ceremony.

In the tea ceremony, almost all kinds of utensils are stored in boxes (especially paulownia box "Kiribako"), including kakemono (hanging scrolls), incense containers, tea caddies, tea bowls, tea scoops, kettles, water jars and lid rests. This shows how important the box plays in the world of tea ceremony. In addition to protecting the box, the box also plays an even greater role in enhancing the contents and proving their origin.

In the tea ceremony, the box itself is brought to the table as a utensil, such as a tea box. The box plays an important role in supporting the tea ceremony, both in the tea room and at the water closet.