To open this Japanese Puzzle Box, you need to find the first panel that you can move, usually by sliding it side to side or up and down. That will then allow the next panel to unlock and move and then another and another like a kind of chain reaction. When the right combination of movements is achieved the box will open.
The Hakone Mountains of Japan are noted for their great variety of trees. Hakone-Yosegi-Zaiku is a inlaid mosaic woodwork unique to this area and takes advantage of this wide variety of natural wood colors and textures to produce their elaborate geometric patterns.
Yosegi-Zaiku handicrafts were being made in the Hakone area more than 1000 years ago in the Heian period and Personal Secret Boxes (Himitsu-Bako) using the inlaid mosaic technique were developed over 100 years ago (1890's) in the region. 5 and 6 Sun (Sun being a traditional unit of measure to denote length - 3.03cm to be exact) secret opening puzzle boxes with 54 and 66 steps were some of the first made. These puzzle boxes were sought after by people in Japanese high society not only to keep important documents safe but as a beautiful work of art.
As time has gone on "easier" versions like 7, 10, 21 (if you can just call 21 steps easier!) have been developed as these puzzle boxes have become synonymous with the Hakone region of Japan. We source these boxes directly from the maker in Hakone, Japan.
This box is the Akaasa pattern which translates literally as "red hemp" pattern. Aka=red asa=hemp.
Size: 4 Sun (a traditional unit of measure to denote length) Actual size outside: 119mm x 83mm x 52mm Space inside: 73mm x 60mm x 32mm
Packaged in a pretty white with gold and silver flecks pressboard gift box with a solution and brochure with the history of the puzzle boxes of the Hakone region inside.
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