A short time ago, I was fortunate to purchase the Key Book Box crafted by Hidekai Kawashima. Because few were made, they were sold in a lottery format by the Karakuri Club. I am quite familiar with his work, so even though the price was a bit high at 25,000 Yen, I knew it would be worth it.
This particular work was designed for an exhibition with a theme of “living.” The Puzzle Box was crafted in April 2012 and has a beautiful laser engraved design on the front and back.
The positives in my view are that the book is a very nice size, measuring 160 x 110 x 44 mm. It easily fits into your hand, making the opening steps a bit easier to manipulate. Crafted in beautiful Cherry, Maple and Katsura woods, the Puzzle is well constructed and attractive. The pages of the book are contoured, making them look similar to a normal book with a contrasting color inlayed on the spine. The bookmark is secured in place and is pliable giving a possible hint to the opening mechanism. I will not divulge in this forum, how the box opens, but I will say that it minimal steps are needed and quite a bit of imagination is required!
The solution sheet included with this piece was the only downside in my view. Cryptic at best, the steps shown were difficult to follow. Luckily I was able to connect with Neil, a puzzle enthusiast and creator of the popular puzzle blog “Puzzling Parts” whom helped in outlining the solution for me. My experience with the mechanism is that it is not always reliable and may have to be reset when steps are performed hastily. This Puzzle is not available for sale at this time. Other Puzzles by Hideaki Kawashima available for sale is the Rose Trick Box shown on our Trick Box Page.