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 Post subject: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:49 am 
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Location: Greece, Australia, Thailand, India, Singapore.
I am sure many of you know the existence of the Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes.

They were made to hide documents in the old days, but then they became as a tradition
for fun, and new techniques and mechanisms were developed. Today, a puzzle design
competition is regarded empty without them.

In this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09Ghf3RTFy4

I present a small glimpse of what to expect of such wonderful structures, some of which
are made of the best wood and some superb craftsmanship second to none.
(the downside to this, is that they are - most of the time - very expensive for an average person).

They can be sliding, they can be rotating, they can be shifting, you name it! I was so intrigued by them,
and was planning to get three from Japan, and instead I ended up with *thirty three*(!!!).

So... could they fill the "twisty puzzle" requirements? Well, they *are* sequential after all! :wink:
I hope you enjoy it.

:)


Pantazis


PS. Some time ago, Paul had also made a nice post about them:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12978&start=0

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:42 am 
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They look very interesting. I really like the one where you turn the middle and the four triangles split apart. Very clever.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:41 pm 
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I really like that hit box.Where did you get it?


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:48 pm 
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SEBUVER wrote:
They look very interesting. I really like the one where you turn the middle and the four triangles split apart. Very clever.


Yeap, that puzzle box is called Secret Base and it deservedly won an award two years ago.


Beans wrote:
I really like that hit box.Where did you get it?


I bought it when I visited Torito in Tokyo eleven days ago!

:)


Pantazis

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:39 pm
Location: USA Michigan
I have a few of these boxes. I feel that the more moves it takes to open one, the more expensive!!

One of my boxes takes 22 moves to open!!


I must say though, i never thought of puzzle poxes as "twisty."




Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:50 pm 
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I am wondering whether to expect one from you in the future. It reminds me of Kelvin Scott's Qubami packaging.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:52 pm 
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kastellorizo wrote:
SEBUVER wrote:
They look very interesting. I really like the one where you turn the middle and the four triangles split apart. Very clever.


Yeap, that puzzle box is called Secret Base and it deservedly won an award two years ago.

Pantazis

I really like that one too and just searched for it. The prices of those boxes are quite scary! :shock:

Alex

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:07 pm 
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Oh to bad. I don't think I'll be getting one then :(.Cool boxes anyway. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:03 pm 
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A variety of new-style trick boxes can be purchased from the Karakuri Club:
http://www.karakuri.gr.jp/creation/index.html

KC1-4 are only $48 each. (Pantazis was wrestling with one of them.)
The Karakuri Small Box set KK-1 through 8 are also clever - each with a different trick, and inexpensive at $40 each.

You might like to join the Karakuri Club:
http://www.karakuri.gr.jp/creation/invitation/invitation.htm

Other, more traditional Japanese trick boxes are available from Izumiya:
http://www.yosegi.net/

Here is an article on trick boxes by the famous puzzle collector (and founder of the IPP), Jerry Slocum - it shows the typical move sequence in a diagram:
http://www.go-star.com/antiquing/puzzleboxes.htm

You can see and read about several more boxes shown at the IPP on Brian Pletcher's blog:
http://mechanical-puzzles.blogspot.com/

Kagen Schaefer is an American craftsman who has made some really incredible boxes:
http://www.kagenschaefer.com
I have a Rune Box, a Maze Burr, and a Dodecahedron Box and they are all beautiful.

Robert Yarger (alias Stickman) is another imaginative craftsman who has made a series of intricate and beautiful boxes - Robert doesn't have a website, but collector Jim Strayer has one of each:
http://www.lhup.edu/jstrayer/charles.htm

If you want to spend serious money, you can get La Via di Colombo from Franco Rocco:
http://www.francorocco.com/
Or order one of Kagen's Lotus Tables for $8000:
http://www.kagenschaefer.com/lotus.html
You can no longer buy one, but GarE Maxton's Labyrinth Box sold for around $12,000:
http://www.maxton.com/c2add.shtml
His latest puzzle contains pieces which can be assembled into a working gun!
http://www.maxton.com/c18add.shtml

You can make your own boxes following Bruce's plans:
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/bruce.viney/index.html

The most expensive box is probably a tie between Kamei's Apricot Box
(shown on the far end of the table in Brian's IPP photo here:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_RobhMHx1XHU/TEYlTSX-72I/AAAAAAAABA0/lqeCC105c2s/s1600/IMG_0263.JPG)
which may be worth around $10,000,
and the Gillen Cabinet which sold for $10,893 in auction:
http://puzzles.baxterweb.com/archiveSummaryAll.asp
Scroll down to Lot #147.
(WARNING - that's a really long page with lots of images...)

Boxes aren't really twisties, but boxes and twisties are both part of the super category of sequential movement puzzles.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:40 am 
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Location: Greece, Australia, Thailand, India, Singapore.
Wow Rob, the wealth of information you gave has blown me away!
Now I have an even better idea for some of the facts. :)

I stumbled on the excerpt of one of those links:
"The art of making personal secret boxes has never been written down.
Instead, it has been passed on from master craftsman to apprentice for generations."

It is such a wonderful truth, especially as me and other puzzlers at the IPP
were awed by the designers who were making those boxes. In Hakone,
it seemed that most (if not all) the secret box shops had their own workshop
and many of the shop owners were the actual designers!

And Rob, I will tease you on the "twisty part". Some time ago, Oskar made the "Gift Cube"
which is clearly both a secret box as well as a twisty puzzle. I believe he has made other ones too ;)

What I mean is that, with so many new secret puzzle boxes coming out, some of which can
twist, rotate, shift, shape-shift, attract (magnets), slide and combine many other properties,
we cannot overlook that they have already "invaded" (in a good sense) other "puzzle fields".
I do agree that most of the boxes are not "mathematical", but I personally will not be surprised
if one day I hold in my hands a secret box which can... jumble!!!

:lol:


Pantazis

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 2:03 pm 
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Location: Lisbon, Portugal
I love Japanese puzzle boxes. Unfortunately I don't have a single one in my collection, because they're extremely expensive for me. I do understand why they have such high prices, as they're complete works of art and are very hard to manufacture. I have to get one of those $50 ones, though. Better than have none :P

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:03 pm 
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Unlike Dr. Panda, I had no intention of purchasing any of these. I controlled myself and only left with around 10 of them :lol: :lol:

The price was just too good, and they were too beautiful to pass up.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:37 pm 
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Well, I admit that those boxes created a black hole in my credit card! :oops:

But just like Stephen Chin told me (while I was mourning at the Hakone Hotel elevator)
"it is just money!"

Kidding aside, buying those boxes outside Japan (and without the discounts we were given)
could even incur prices 2-3 times higher compared to the ones sold inside Japan. So I just picked
up a couple I wanted (Secret Base, and a 42-move traditional box).

But then I saw one with an extra compartment...!

Then I saw a cute one looking like a Lovely House...

Then I saw another with a lovely Acorn...!

Then I saw a Triangular Prism one...!

Then I saw a Pentagonal Prism one...!

ok... I better stop here, but you *get* the idea of what happened to me!

:lol: :oops:


Pantazis


PS. Now I even have the (bad?) habit of every time I open the box I put
my nose near the opened part to smell the nice wood which was hidden!!!

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Last edited by kastellorizo on Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 8:50 am
Location: chicago, IL area U.S.A
A word of advice for those who have never had one. Keep your boxes in humidity and temperature controlled environments. Otherwise the wood will warp, shrink and expand and the box could either get stuck, or become way too easy to move. The tolerances on them are very very tight.
I actually prefer to keep mine at work because the environment is controlled much better. I have one here at work now which is in the shape of a slice of cherry pie. Inside it are some "cherries"

-d


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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:42 pm 
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I was speaking with some of the builders in Japan. They warned me that some only work there for one month of the year. When I said HK, they said forget it, but they were so beautiful, I just had to get some. You all know me and pretty puzzles:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:31 am
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I am just taking more photos of my puzzles, so now it is time
to place here the one with the Japanese boxes:

Attachment:
Japanese_boxes.jpg
Japanese_boxes.jpg [ 263.78 KiB | Viewed 4859 times ]


:)


Pantazis

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Secret Puzzle Boxes...!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:15 pm
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Sooo jealous :lol:

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