chabako international
         custom designs by pam jenkinson




what is a chabako??

it is a japanese cha (tea) bako (box). it is made of japanese cedar (which keeps bugs out) and is completely lined in tin to keep things inside fresh. the boxes were used to transport tea from distributors to the tea shops. there are at least 15 different sizes so depending on the size of the shop & the number of different types of tea they carried, they had a variety to choose from.

there are 3 sizes listed that are nori boxes. nori is the dried seaweed that is pressed into square sheets to wrap sushi or onigiri (rice balls).  these boxes have more of a square shape than a rectangular one.   there are 100, 200, & 1000 nori boxes available.

the making of the tea boxes is slowly becoming a dying art.  the
younger generation is looking for jobs with high tech gadgets. the distributors have now gone to plastic and vacuum  packaging so the number of makers has been drastically reduced. we are hoping to keep this art alive for many generations to come by using them as pieces of furniture.

the larger boxes (10sq or larger) are reinforced with plywood and a dense (20yr) upholstery grade foam is placed on top so you can sit on the boxes for extra seating or you can put a piece of glass on top to use it as a table.

decorated boxes can be used for anything from a jewelry box (100 nori), cd or dvd box (200 nori, 1k, 10sq), ottoman (1000nori, 40sq), toy box (40sq), side table (20k), cedar chest (40k or 60k).  the uses are endless so be creative & be sure to pass ideas on to
me in how you choose to use your teabox.  it is not just a decorative box but a piece of furniture.





chabako sizes fabric selections stands special holiday choices ordering information








have a matching frame made to go with your new chabako box.
click here to see mari photo frames.


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last modified: 04/02/08
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