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~This information was current as of August 2000.

Fuji.JPG (25040 bytes) This is a view of the well known symbol of Japan, Mt. Fuji, as seen from Hakone Town.  Lake Ashi is in the foreground.  Mt. Fuji is Japan's tallest peak, rising to 3,776 meters.  This is the mountain that is depicted on many puzzle box motifs.

The red structure on the shore of the lake is a torii, or entrance gate to a Shinto shrine or holy place.

Here is an example of the variety of products that are made in the Hakone area using traditional yosegi craft. craftsman2.JPG (27081 bytes)
craftsman.JPG (29403 bytes) In this photo, you see many small yosegi rods.  These rods will be glued together to make larger pieces, until the desired size is achieved.
This photo helps to visualize the construction of  yosegi.   Every different color is a different piece of wood adhered to others to create an intriguing pattern. block1.JPG (24309 bytes)
block2.JPG (20257 bytes) The smaller pieces here have been cut from a much longer yosegi rod.   In the background you see large blocks that may be used to make platters.
The pattern being shaved off here is often used as the covering for puzzle boxes!  It is known as the koyosegi pattern. block3.JPG (29377 bytes)
The Okiyama 119 move Puzzle Box
Old Puzzle Boxes


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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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