The wood pattern is a combination of the traditional Yosegi on top, with the Ichimatsu pattern on the sides and bottom.
Traditional Japanese secret opening boxes were first made in the Hakone region in about 1890’s by master woodworker Ryugoro Okawa and are decorated with a veneer called yosegi zaiku marquetry. This very precise process starts with gluing different coloured woods together to form the desired pattern. Then very thin sheets called zuku are shaved with a special plane and glued onto the puzzle.
Ichimatsu has been known since ancient times as a design motif in Japan. In the Heian period, a form of it was known to describe a paving stone motif which very much describes this box which has checkered patterns of light and dark woods in a paving type pattern.
The Hakone Mountains of Japan are especially noted for its great variety of trees. Hakone-Yosegi-Zaiku is inlaid mosaic woodwork unique to this area and takes advantage of this wide variety of natural wood colours and textures to produce their elaborate geometric patterns.
Different to many traditional Japanese puzzle boxes, this box is square. The actual size outside: 78mm X 78mm X 50mm Size inside: 62mm X 39mm X 35mm
Packaged in a white pressboard gift box with a distinctive mauve sayagata patterned lid with some small gold and silver leaf flecks. It has a printed solution inside.