Categories: Art

A Peek Into the Beautiful Japanese Wood Craft Called Yosegi

Japan is filled with all sorts of art and craft techniques that we have yet to have in the western world. Many of their crafts not only take a long time to finish but also require a teacher who can properly instruct you on how to successfully accomplish each part. This is something to ponder about considering Japan is leaps and bounds more advanced in terms of technology compared to many countries in the world. And yet, there are still people who dedicate themselves to creating traditional art that no amount of technology can replace.

There's one such traditional craft that has survived through the centuries and is still revered today.

Source: Nicholas Phillips

One such art form is yosegi, a type of traditional wood mosaic.

Timbers of different colors are cut into rods for each section and are then glued together to form a geometrical pattern. The surface of the pattern is then sliced into this plates of wood, which are then used to decorate all sorts of things – from jewelry boxes, puzzle boxes, trays, coasters, vases, and more.

These boxes were made using yosegi, and they look absolutely seamless!


In case you’re wondering, a Japanese puzzle box is exactly as it sounds. It’s a box that also serves as a puzzle, and unless you solve the puzzle, there’s no way you can open the box without breaking it. And the best (and maybe the most frustrating) thing about it is that the yosegi patterns in Japanese puzzle boxes are so seamless that the puzzle looks impossible to solve at first glance!

These Japanese puzzle boxes may look like ordinary boxes but opening them can be a challenge!

These beautiful yosegi crafts are sold everywhere in Japan, and perhaps what adds to their beauty is the amount of love and dedication poured into each thinly-sliced sheet of patterned wood. Just take a look at the video below where a Japanese craftsman creates yosegi sheets out of colored wood.

Watch the video here:

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Share this with your artsy friends and let them know about the wonderful craft that is yosegi!

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