Traditionally, Japanese Step Tansu Chests (kaidan dansu) were made to be wide enough and sturdy as steps or stairs in Japanese homes and also function as storage, consistent with their minimalist way of living.
This particular reproduction Step Tansu Chest is approximately one-metre wide and one-metre tall. It is considered to be on the smaller side as you can find 1.6 metre ones around. The larger ones are usually double-sided, ie. finished the same on both sides.
However, I was lucky enough to get this smaller one with double sides, which means that it can also function as a room divider! People now use the steps to display their collectibles and decorative items.
Note: The true antique Step Tansu Chests are single-sided - so be wary when someone tries to sell you a “genuine” double-sided one!