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The Evolution of the Japanese Puzzle Box

The Japanese puzzle box is a wonderfully unique item.  It seems to be only a nicely decorated box but when looked at closer one will see that it can be opened through a variety of steps.  This type of puzzle box has been around for approximately a century's time and the initial purpose of the Japanese puzzle box has evolved greatly from when it first began.  The following will provide some general information regarding the evolution of the Japanese puzzle box and relay details as to why these items are so popular today. 

The Initial Purpose of the Japanese Puzzle Box 

When the Japanese puzzle box was first created it was done so in order to provide a hiding place for pertinent documents and valuables.  The way in which the puzzle box is crafted allows for only the user to know the true combination for opening up the box.  The more complex a puzzle box was based upon the steps needed to solve the puzzle and the length, or suns, of the box, the less likely it was that outsiders could get into it and therefore uncover the objects hidden within.  In the beginning, those who carried these boxes with them were traveling workers who did so to hide their tools in order to prevent them from being stolen.  By needing a "combination" to get into the box, the owner thereof was more likely to prevent their belongings from winding up in the wrong hands. 

The Japanese Puzzle Box Evolves 

As the years progressed so did the reasons for not only making these types of boxes but purchasing them as well.  Although they were still used to protect belongings from thieves and prying eyes, the craftsman who made such boxes came to the realization that these were popular items not only for their usefulness but for the entertainment value which would surround them as well.  Those who first learned about the Japanese puzzle boxes saw them as not only being a good hiding spot but a bit fun as they tried to open them up as quickly as possible and it was this game which provided entertainment.  

The Japanese Puzzle Box Today 

Japanese puzzle boxes are widely available these days.  Most individuals purchase these items for entertainment purposes, as souvenir items or for decorative reasons and it can be seen that the popularity has definitely increased.  What was once a simply decorated wooden box used for safely hiding various items is now a highly coveted decorative conversation piece. 

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