The ships plying the coastal waters of both the inland and Japan seas carried all manner of trade goods. The prosperous years of the Edo period insured an ongoing need for their transport service as most land routes were still too time consuming, ardous and poorly maintained. The ship owners and captains of the vessels owned some of the most beautiful and well crafted tansu made during the Edo and early Meiji eras. They were stout chests for rigorous lives. The ship's safe or sea-chest was generally a smaller chest (compared with clothing chests) for the safe-keeping of papers, seals, and money. Keyaki was generally the primary wood, with interior kiriwood drawers. Considerable iron straping and thick incised hardware on the carcase and doors insured that they could be quite heavy. The rumor has always been that they would float just below the surface of the water if tossed overboard in case of pirate attack and later be retrieved by an attached silk cord, such was the nature of their construction. Whether myth or fact, these chest have always inspired respect as both objects of commerce and craft.