Japanese Pressed Wood Tray (Large)

Tray to organize paper, stationary and mail, or transport food. Made from Ayous wood from West Africa with a pressed and molded plywood construction and exposed plywood edges. Made in Japan since the 1950s. Also available in Small. (more info)

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  • Japanese Pressed Wood Tray (Large) - Kaufmann Mercantile1
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Japanese Pressed Wood Tray (Large) - Kaufmann Mercantile

Versatile and useful, this tray can go from holding mail and contracts in the office to serving up tea or breakfast in bed. The seamless, molded plywood construction with a lustrous wood veneer creates a streamlined design that is easy to dust off and wipe clean.

The tray is made from Ayous (also called obeche, wawa or samba wood) of West Africa, a material known for its light color and prominent grain ribbons, and popular for fabricating guitars and picture frames.

Use & Care

Keep tray dry and away from moisture. Conditioners and oils are not recommended. Avoid direct sunlight and heat. 

Production & Design

Isamu Saito began working with molded plywood while producing fuel tanks for the Japanese army during the World War II metal shortage. Taking this knowledge, he founded his own woodworking business, fabricating small home accessories out of molded plywood that he sold off the back of his bicycle.

To produce the molded plywood products, a raw log is peeled to achieve thin sheets of wood. The sheets are dyed and stacked to create unique patterns and colors, then glued and pressed into a thicker, stacked plywood. The plywood is pressed into a metal mold, which is heated to 212 °F (100 °C) for about 20 minutes, then trimmed.

Isamu Saito’s two grandsons run the business today, and they continue to create the products that their grandfather originated, as well as expanding the catalogue to include new items. The Saito family uses light molded plywood to create fluid and unique curves, which wouldn't be possible with solid wood.  


15 inches x 10.75 inches 
(38 cm x 27 cm)

Teak (Ayous)

Made in

Key Points
- Organizes mail and important documents or use as a tray for breakfast in bed
- Seamless molded plywood construction
- Made from Ayous wood, notable for its prominent, vertical grain pattern
- Made by a family business in operation in Japan since the 1950s
  • USA
  • Free shipping in the USA for orders $150+
  • $8.95 flat-rate for orders $35 - $150.
  • $4.95 flat-rate for orders under $35.
  • $29 flat-rate 2nd day for all US orders.
  • 90 days on all unused items.
  • Free return shipping in the US.
  • NY & NC.
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