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Kumiki Japanese Wooden Puzzles
Kumiki is a Japanese word which means "to join wood together". In Japan, the term "kumiki" refers to several different varieties of woodcraft, especially figural wooden interlocking puzzles or, in a broader sense, any wooden construction toy. They are also known as "burr puzzles." Each puzzle is handcrafted, and each is displayed as a small work of art, created in precision as is evident in how exact the puzzle pieces together.
These puzzles may have been used by master woodworkers as they tutored their apprentices in the art of constructing wooden buildings using interlocking pieces in the absence of metal parts or fasteners.
Tsunetaro Yamanaka (1874-1954) was the first craftsman to design and construct puzzles that resembled building and vehicles as well as abstract shapes like spheres and cubes. His descendants continued this kumiki tradition, still creating new puzzles including animal shapes. Today, Tadaaki Yamanaka, great grandson of Tsunetaro, continues his work.
Posted: 2013-05-05 15:09:04 Flashlight Karakuri Puzzle Box by Hiroshi Iwahara "The Flashlight Puzzle was crafted in 2011 and entered into the Karakuri Idea Contest. It was pretty expensive with the Yen/Dollar conversion rate not very favorable at the time, but worth collecting. I value pieces that are shaped after every day items like Pineapples, Teapots, Radios, Dice, Books, etc.. This particular puzzle was designed by Shokan Handa and was pr..." Read more
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