5 Sun 12 + 1 Step Akafuji Japanese puzzle box

Its not easy to get boxes from Japan since Covid but this lovely one just arrived recently.   Iconic graphics of Mt Fuji on one side and the Crane on the other side done in gorgeous Yosegi Zaiku marquetry to really showcase the natural wood colours.

The art of Yosegi Zaiku marquetry is like a wood mosaic.  It originated in Hatajuku in Hakone and this is the only place in Japan where it is produced.  In 1984, Hakone Yosegi Zaiku was certified as one of Japan’s traditional arts and crafts by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.

This puzzle box has 12 steps to open plus one extra hidden compartment at the end. Not hugely difficult but enough to keep you busy. The woodwork in the striped pattern on the sides not only showcases the woods used but disguises very well where the panels slide.

All Japanese puzzle boxes can be considered as a cultural art form but this one including the iconic Mt Fuji is more so the case.

5 Sun 12 +1 Step Akafuji Japanese puzzle box