No, Zaishu isn’t a new gadget or sugary snack. It’s a sturdy little table-seat-whatsit that happens to have quite a story behind it (and on it).

The story begins in Japan. Zaishu is Japanese for “small seat” – and small it is (approx 16″ x 16″  x 11″). Its eco-footprint is equally diminutive. Made of plantation Australian Hoop Pine and water based inks and varnish, this treasure received an Australian “Good Environmental Choice” certification.

It arrives flat-packed and is a cinch to assemble – the five pieces slot together to create a piece of collectible art. I say art because the printed Zaishus and India Zaishus are covered with artwork from different cultures, community groups or individual artists.

There’s the Antique Kimono Zaishu covered in 16th century Japanese patterns, and the Mini International, a limited edition Zaishu designed by the Melbourne design duo Tin & Ed (US$326.96 each, not including delivery).

For the minimalist with simpler tastes, the much-blogged plain Zaishus also come in clear varnish and three paint finishes – white, yellow and red – for US$326.96 (AUD$350).


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