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Characteristics of the Japanese Puzzle Boxes

Although puzzle boxes originate from a variety of countries, those made in Japanese are among the most coveted.  In this article, we wanted to provide you with some of the special characteristics of this special box.  Known also as the secret box or trick box, the puzzle box is a great gift or addition to your personal jewelry box collection. 

·        Yosegi-Zaiku – Coming from the Hakone region of Japan, this type of puzzle box creation uses a unique mosaic and inlaid design.  The wood is also gorgeous, coming from a number of different tree species, each coming from the Hakone Mountains of Japan.  With this particular design, you would find a geometric pattern.  To create this special look, woods of varying color are bound.  For the finish, a special plane is used to remove extremely thin layers of the wood. 

·        Himitsu-Bako – The name of this puzzle box translates to “Secret Box”, which is considered the traditional style.  In fact, this Japanese puzzle box has been refined for more than a century in the Hakone Mountains where its popularity has focused primarily on people looking for souvenirs.  Interesting, today just nine master artisans from the Hakone region produce these puzzle boxes, with the baby of the group being a young, 60 years of age. 

·        Zougan – Finally, this Japanese word translates to “Marquetry”, which is a wonderful art form coming from Egypt and spanning 3,000 years.  The design technique became very popular, making its way to other countries to include Japan, India, China, and even Persia.  Using the different types of trees, these puzzle boxes are made in wonderful colors, on which a picture is applied. 

As mentioned, Japanese puzzle boxes are created from trees growing in the Hakone region of the country.  Because of this, you can enjoy a wide selection of looks.  For instance, some of the more popular types of trees used include the dogwood, wax, sumac, lacquer, cherry, walnut, pagoda, persimmon, and pagoda tree

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