2 Sun 10 Steps Namiura - Japanese Puzzle Box

Posted on by Gabriel | 0 comments
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It's my first review of the year, and what better way to start than featuring a new found love, Japanese Puzzle Boxes. This time, I focus on a special one, a type of Japanese Puzzle Box rarely seen: what you see above is a limited edition 2 Sun 10 Steps Namiura with an engraved picture. The picture depicts one of the most famous Japanese images ever created, The Great Wave. The original name is called "Kanagawa-oki nami-ura", which can be translated as "The Great Wave off Kanagawa".

The original image was actually created on a woodblock for printing, and it was published by the ukiyo-e artist Hokusai somewhere between 1830 and 1833. Made as a tribute to those woodblocks, this Japanese Puzzle Box is very similar to what a woodblock would look like with that image, except the box is much smaller than a woodblock.

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The contours of the image are engraved on top of the box, each line carefully carved on the surface. What is really impressive is the amount of detail the craftsman managed to get on such a tiny surface. On the background, you can see Mount Fuji and on the foreground, a traditional boat. On the sides of the box, you can also see the traditional Yosegi pattern, commonly seen in most Japanese Puzzle Boxes. For reference, a 2 Sun box measures about 6cm in length (2.25"), so a steady hand is necessary to achieve such precision and perfection - a symbol of Japanese craftsmanship.

The Namiura puzzle box is made by the craftstudio IZUMIYA, situated in the Kanagawa prefecture, right where the first Japanese Puzzle Boxes were created. You can actually see the studio's stamp on the bottom of the box, so you can be sure of the high quality work of the box. This studio also made the Hinode-Fuji puzzle box, which is currently my absolute favorite.

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As suggested by the name of the puzzle box, you need 10 steps to successfully open it. If you're familiar with the sliding mechanism of Japanese Puzzle Boxes, this one shouldn't be too difficult to open. Usually the sliding panels are easy to spot by the offset patterns, so it's just a matter of finding the correct sequence of movements.

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Closing Comments:

The Namiura puzzle box is a proud item on my collection and a one of a kind. You won't certainly see many of these around, so get it while you can. It's a small and easy to open box, but a truly unique and beautiful puzzle.

Availability: The 2 Sun 10 Steps Namiura Japanese Puzzle Box can be found at Brilliant Puzzles for $47.95 USD - A bargain, considering it's a limited edition. You can also browse other puzzle boxes here.

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