The Hakone mosaic woodwork comes from combining various kinds of wood to create geometric shapes utilizing wood hues and grains. These are then planed down and affixed to small boxes, trays and other items. The craft dates back to the late Edo period and continues today much the same way with the exception of the inclusion of more exotic woods previously unavailable in Japan and some new glues.
We got a demonstration from one of the masters. When asked how long it took to learn how to learn to make the designs, he said about 20 years. Incredible dedication and craftsmanship.
And of course it has a shop with wonderful products at reasonable prices. There were also puzzle boxes where certain pieces must be moved in the proper sequence to open the box. Most of the stores buy from this place so you may as well get it from the artisans themselves.
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