Around the middle of the Meiji Period, pieces of occidental furniture started to be imported in Japan, together with other Western items. Then, the Japanese craftsmen begun to make a type of table inspired by the new furnishings, but adapted to the Japanese habit of sitting on the floor. Called chabudai, these tables were made with very short legs, about 15 to 30 centimeters tall.
Chabudai were so well integrated to the Japanese-style interior, that today they may seem part of the traditional furniture. However, they weren’t made to replace the Japanese traditional small dining tray, but were an adaptation to the new table habits of serving the dishes on a large, common surface.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: