Japanese Terms

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Japanese Term

Pronunciation

English Meaning

Akaasa ah-kah-ah-sah

traditional "hemp" pattern, red
aka=red; asa=hemp

Aka Fuji ah-kah-foo-jee well-known woodblock print by 19th cent. artist Hokusai
aka=red; Fuji=sacred Mt. Fuji
Hakone hah-koh-nay Resort and spa town at the foot of Mt. Fuji, also known for their "himitsu bako" and yosegi crafts. Located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

Himitsu-bako

hee-mee-tsoo bah-koh

secret box
himitsu=secret; bako=box

Ichimatsu

ee-chee-mah-tsoo

crowd of pines
ichi=crowded quarters; matsu=pine

Jindaisaya jeen-daee-sah-yah

saya pattern reversal (color)
jin=awareness; dai=substitute
saya=traditional "sand" pattern

Kaminari Fuji kah-mee-nah-ree-foo-jee well-known woodblock print by 19th cent. artist Hokusai
kaminari=lightning; Fuji=sacred Mt. Fuji

Kikkou

keek-koh

traditional tortoiseshell pattern
ki=turtle; kou=shell

Kirichigai kee-ree-chee-gaee different cut - this name is given to several patterns by different craftsmen.
kiri=to cut, slice or carve
chigai=to be different

Kisaya

Key-sah-ah Traditional “Saya” pattern
ki=yellow

Koyosegi

koh-yoh-say-gee

several smaller sized yosegi samples joined into one larger pattern

Kumiki koo-mee-kee traditional japanese puzzle toys

Kuroasa

koo-roh-ah-sah

traditional "hemp" pattern, black
kuro=black; asa=hemp

Mame

mah-may

used in reference to size of box
1 sun or miniature

Maru

mah-roo

maru=circle

Momiji moh-mee-jee momiji=red (autumn) leaves

Ran

rah-n

ran=random

Ruiji roo-ee-jee ruiji=resemblance, similarity; part of complete puzzle box title- kagi tsuki hon gata ruiji= box resembling books, with key
Sakura sah-koo-rah sakura=cherry blossoms
Sanshoku Sahn-shoh-koo three color tortoiseshell patternsan=three
shoku=color

Sansui

sahn-soo-ee

mountain lake
san=mountain; sui=water

Sun

suh-n or soo-n

used in reference to size of box
Japanese inch, 1 sun=1.2 inch

Tobizuru

toh-bee-zoo-roo

cranes in flight
tobu=to fly; tsuro=crane

Ukiyoe

oo-kee-yoh-ay

Name given to the art of Japanese Woodprint, literally "pictures of the floating world"

Utamaro

oo-tah-mah-roh

woodblock artist (1754 - 1806)
famous for ukiyoe style prints

Yosegi / yoseki

yoh-say-gee / kee

Japanese Traditional Handicraft of gluing rods of wood together and shaving or sawing off a cross section
yoseru=to bundle; ki=wood

Zougan

zoh-gahn

Japanese Traditional Handicraft of marquetry

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A mechanical puzzle is a self-contained object, composed of one or more parts, which involves a problem for one person to solve by manipulation using logic, reasoning, insight, luck, and/or dexterity.” - Jerry Slocum

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