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Japan Chair
Iconic Designs

Japan Chair

About the Design

In its distinctive embodiment of the East-meets-West dialogue represented in mid-century modern art and design, the Japan chair draws on the simple silhouette of the famed Itsukushima Shrine near Hiroshima, Japan. Designed by legendary Danish architect, interior designer and furniture maker Finn Juhl (1912–89) and produced by furniture manufacturer France & Søn, the chair belongs to a series that includes a two-seater sofa, a three-seater sofa and a footstool.


Although he originally wanted to study art history, Juhl’s father urged him to enroll in the architecture school at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He spent a decade thereafter working for Vilhelm Lauritzen’s architecture firm, where Juhl specialized in interior design. He went on to open his own firm in 1945, establishing himself among a group of young Danish designers who sought to reinvent the national design zeitgeist. The result was the Scandinavian modernism movement beloved by many today.


For his 1957 Japan chair, Juhl adopted the elegant form of a Japanese Torii, integrating its shape into the piece’s exposed low-slung wood frame and tapered legs, which support a minimalist upholstered backrest and seat. While many mid-century designers had the future in mind, Juhl looked to the past. Today the Japan chair, along with Juhl’s entire body of work, is produced exclusively by the House of Finn Juhl, an offshoot of Danish furniture company One Collection. His designs are particularly popular in Japan; there is a replica of his home in the city of Gifu and a House of Finn Juhl hotel in the village of Hakuba, near Nagano.


Finn Juhl Japan Chair

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Vintage Teak Finn Juhl Japan Chair by France & Son, New Upholstery
By France & Søn, Finn Juhl
Located in Utrecht, NL
Teak "Japan" series armchair by Danish designer Finn Juhl, designed in 1957 made under license from France & Son by John Stuart for the US market. The sublime simplicity of the "Jap...
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Fabric, Teak

Finn Juhl Japan Series Chair Walnut, Kvadrat Foss, 1953
By Finn Juhl, Kvadrat
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Japan chair designed by Finn Jhul Manufactured by One collection Finn Juhl, (Denmark) The Japan series is produced in oak or walnut with hand sewn upholstery in fabric. 1953, ...
Category

2010s Danish Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Fabric, Walnut

Finn Juhl Japan Series Chair, Foss Fabric, 1953
By Finn Juhl
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Japan chair designed by Finn Jhul Manufactured by One collection Finn Juhl (Denmark) The Japan Series is produced in oak or walnut with hand sewn upholstery in fabric. 1953, r...
Category

2010s Danish Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Fabric, Walnut