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Himitsu Baku Masters

The skill that goes into making a Japanese Puzzle Box is, at its core, a fusion of age old art and science. Also referred to as Himitsu Bako, the mechanics of a Japanese Puzzle Box requires flush parts that can move together in fluid and flowing motions. This is no small task. As many an apprentice has come to find, being off by even the smallest measurement will either make the box too tight and difficult to open or entirely too slack. Learning this ancient and respectable art takes many years and there are a few who have made a name for themselves doing just so. Their skill and contribution in this ancient art is the very embodiment of today's modern Japanese Puzzle Box. 

Mr.Yoshio Okiyama is one of the most well known Japanese Puzzle Box artisans of all time. It was Mr. Okiyama that developed the twenty seven, fifty four and sixty six step Puzzle Box. Born in the region of Hakone where the Puzzle Box originates, Mr. Okiyama began learning Himitsu Bako at an early age from another master, his father Mr. Yoshitaro Okiyama. Over the years, as Mr. Okiyama developed his talent, he became a Master Craftsmen and won several honors for his artistry. This also includes awards from Japan's Association of Traditional Crafts Development of Industry. After his death in 2003 many of his pieces became collectible artwork, some increasing in value by nearly five hundred percent. 

Mr. Yoshikazu Goto is yet another Master Craftsmen that was also born in the Hakone region of Japan. Nearly half a century of woodworking experience goes into each one of the pieces that Mr. Goto creates. It is because of this that Mr. Goto has seen his share of awards in such events as the Hakone Odawara Woodworking Crafts Competition. As a fourth generation artisan in Himitsu Bako, Mr. Goto studied under the tutelage of not only his father but his grandfather as well. Those lucky enough to be in possession of one of Mr. Goto's works are those with a Japanese Puzzle Box made from only the finest of materials. 

There was a time when the future of Japanese Puzzle Box making was uncertain. Luckily, interest in the unique art grew and there are now a great many individuals that carry on the tradition of Himitsu Bako. However, many concur that the degree and level of quality reached by the preceding Master Craftsmen will always be the standard to aspire to.

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