To open a Japanese puzzle box one or more sliding panels hidden within the patterns on the box must be moved. There are 10 separate moves or 10 steps to open this trick opening puzzle box. There’s no obvious top or bottom to this box and the joins of the panels is very well disguised which adds to the level of difficulty.
A fantastic way to prolong the excitement of giving a gift. Imagine Dad on Fathers’ Day or your brother at Christmas trying to open this one.
Traditional Japanese secret opening boxes were first made in the Hakone region about the 1890’s by master woodworker Ryugoro Okawa and are decorated with a veneer called yosegi zaiku marquetry. These days there are about 80 craftspersons working to make these puzzle boxes. Only about 10 of them are the traditional industrial artists who passed qualification tests given by the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Products of Japan (JTCC) and the youngest is said to be aver 60 years old. This very precise process starts with selecting the wood to be used taking care with the combination of colours to be used, then allowing it to dry, before cutting the wood and then gluing it together to form the desired pattern. Then the box is built and each movement must be tested to ensure all the mechanics of the puzzle are working correctly. Last of all, very thin sheets of the glued patterns called zuku are shaved with a special plane and glued on to the puzzle to give the final marquetry finish to the piece.
Because each puzzle box is handmade in Japan by individual craftsmen the pattern on each one will be very similar but may vary slightly from the photo shown here.
Size: 4 Sun (a traditional unit of measure to denote length) Actual size outside: 120mm x 83mm x 52mm Space inside: 80mm x 63mm x 38mm
Solution sheet included.
Genuine Japanese made puzzle box. Not a Chinese copy.