This is an antique Japanese merchant chest called Choba Tansu. Constructed from Paulownia wood (Kiri) and comes with a secret compartment. It measures that 31 "tall, 32.25 " wide, 16.13" deep.
Merchant chests were displayed with pride by the owner of a shop to give customers the impression of success and longevity of the business establishment. It was almost always situated in a prominent location of the store to catch the view of the client.
It has a secret box that was hidden from thieves. To access this box, both bottom drawers behind the hinged door must be removed. It has a sliding lock on the upper wall on the right side of drawer. Firmly holding the wall that separates the drawers, it slides forward revealing an opening at the back of the right drawer cavity where the box can be found. There are signatures with Kao on the back of these 2 drawers.