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Japanese Puzzle Boxes
All about the Secret Boxes
Puzzle Boxes are a great way to keep hidden items private. Forget keys, passcodes, locks, voice recognition. From now on, the premise is simple: only those who have the wits and perseverance to go through an enduring task shall be able to see what you've hidden away. Puzzle boxes force users to do a mechanical puzzle before the box can be opened. Kind of like a mini-rubik's cube. Originally from Japan, Japanese Puzzle Boxes are also known as Himitsu-Bako "Secret Box"
Size and Difficulty of Japanese Puzzle Boxes
Japaneses puzzle boxes have two characteristics: Sun and Steps.
The Sun (pronounced Soon) is really just the size of the box, so a bigger sun can hold a bigger item.
Then there are steps.
Essentially that's how much activity is required to reveal your secrets away. A 4-step himitsu bako means there are 4 specific moves a person must do in order to open the box. Out of hundreds of possible combinations, finding just the right 4-step process can be difficult. The more steps, the harder it is for the person to guess.
4 Sun 14 Steps Japanese Puzzle Box
What to do with a Japanese Secret Box?
You don't have to use the secret box to hide belongings you don't wish others to see. Beautiful as they are, they make delightful decorations. Imagine your guests coming by for dinner and seeing this box. You explain it to them and of course they cannot resist trying to open it. Even if there's nothing inside, or maybe just some candy as a prize, it is extra enjoyment and a lasting impression they'll have of both your wits and your worldly curiosities.
Make a present more memorable by storing it inside a himitsu bako instead of wrapping it. Nobody said presents had to be easy to get, why not provide some puzzle-y challenge, especially if you know the person likes puzzles or at least enjoys a good laugh. (You can open it later if they fail of course. No need to torture anyone)
If you have a forgetful person in the house who tends to lose their keys, you know how horrifying it can be to consider hiding your keys outside. Will it be under the Welcome mat? Inside the plant? Under the umbrella holder? Well now you can put this secret box inside the shed (for those of you whose sheds don't lock) or hidden by the garbage. If someone does stumble upon it, they probably won't be able to figure out how to open it. However, once you've instructed your forgetful knucklehead on how to open it, at least he or she'll be able to get inside the house.
You might have noticed the word "Yosegi" come up a lot and wondered what it could be. It's actually a style of veneering used to beautify various wooden items, like the Himitsu Bako. Yosegi are mosaic lapels made from wood, metal, or plastic. Wood is cut over and over in order to give it that Japanese aesthetic mosaic look.
Learn More About Yosegi and Japanese Puzzle Boxes