Hakone Yosegi-Zaiku Marquetry is a traditional handicraft dating back to the late Edo Period and was created by master craftsman Nihei Ishikawa (1790-1850). Japanese craftsmen recognized that the variety of woods used in the making of Yosegi –Zaiku Marquetry were plentiful and easily found along the beautiful slopes of the Hakone area. The area of Hakone in Kanagawa Perfecture attracts many visitors and is famous for it's hot springs and beautiful scenery.
The majority of the natural timbers used in Hakone Yosegi Zaiku Marquetry are: White- Aohada (Ilex macropoda) , Dogwood, Spindle Tree Yellow- Laquer Tree, Nigaki (Picrasma Quassiodies Benn), Wax Tree Light Brown- Cherry Tree, Japanese Pagoda Tree, Zelkova Tree Dark Brown- Keyaki-Jindai Gray- Honoki (Magnolia Hypoleuca) Black- Katsura-Jindai
Timbers are selected for their natural beauty and not normally colored in any way. After the chosen woods are cut and planed, they are assembled into precise patterns, glued, shaved into paper thin sheets and applied to the decorative box, trays, chests or other item. In May 1984, Hakone Yosegi-Zaiku was designated a national traditional handicraft by the International Trade & Industry Minister.
For more information on the traditional craft of Hakone Yosegi-Zaiku crafting, please click on the Japanese Puzzle Box Page. **Please note also that these beautiful Yosegi Zaiku pieces for sale below are NOT Puzzle Boxes but are wonderful additions for any Puzzle Box collection.