We recently purchased the Valentine’s Day Puzzle Box, crafted for the 7th Karakuri I Puzzle Idea Contest. In the shape of a heart, the lid is attractive with what appears to be an inlay of a young boy and girl facing each other. Created in Cherry, Karin and Walnut, the contrasting colors make this box quite attractive. Crafted by Tatsuo Miyamoto, I had anticipated the puzzle to be somewhat tricky.
On first inspection, it appears that the upper portion may be a lid that must be removed to find a hidden compartment. Attempting to twist and gently pull on the lid, the upper section seemed to be firmly locked into place. By depressing the upper portion of the box however, the boy and girl rise above the surface of puzzle. Thinking this may be one of the beginning steps, I began to direct my attention to the side and back of the box.
When viewing the sides of the heart, there was a slight differentiation in the wood grain of two upper sections, leading me to believe that additional steps were required.
After ten minutes, I was able to unveil the secret space(s). In retrospect, the solution makes perfect sense and relates nicely to the theme of Valentine’s Day! This trick box however can be slightly finicky, but is very well constructed and entertaining. The original idea of this puzzle was engineered by Mineo Kumagai. Sadly this puzzle sold out immediately after release. We are in the midst of locating additional copies of this puzzle, so that we may offer them for sale in our store soon.