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Puzzle Box Master Craftsmen

For thousands of years, puzzle boxes have been around.   However, it has just been over the past century that these special boxes have become so popular.  Have you ever wondered who creates these boxes?  The answer is that some are master craftsmen from various countries while others are people who have become involved in the making of these rare gems.  To show you just how magnificent these puzzle boxes are, we wanted to provide some history regarding some of the historical artisans who have made them so unique. 

Yoshio Okiyama Although Mr. Okiyama passed away in 2003, he provided over 80 years of expertise in the creation of puzzle boxes.  While his final product is incredible, the process he went through to ensure every puzzle box was perfect is what helps him stand apart from other artisans.  For example, Mr. Okiyama was renowned for picking out the wood, curing it, cutting it to the appropriate size, and basically, doing everything on his own.  The experience and knowledge owned by Mr. Okiyama was passed down for three generations, starting with Mr. Ninomiya who then passed it down to Mr. Kamei.  Following were other artisans who learned from the skills of Mr. Okiyama were Mr. Yoshzawa, Mr. Kanbara, and Mr. Suzuki. 

Mr. Yoshikazu Goto Mr. Goto, born in 1935, offered more than 45 years hands-on experience in the art of puzzle box and other woodworking projects.  Mr. Goto was best known for his incredible attention to detail with each puzzle box made.  In fact, his work was so incredible that Mr. Goto was the recipient of the Hakone Odawara Woodworking Crafts competition, taking first place. 

Both of these puzzle box artists came from Japan in the Hakone/Odawara region.  Interestingly, while puzzle boxes are popular and that popularity is growing, just 30 of the 100 people found in this area create the Yosegi-Zaiku style of box with just four producing Moku-Zougan puzzle boxes.

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