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Hakone wood mosaic
About Hakone wood mosaic

Hakone yosegi zaiku or wood mosaic is a form of marquetry made from various colors and grains of wood. The wood comes from the mountains of Hakone, a rich natural environment blessed with over 50 different species of trees.

Hakone wood mosaic began near the end of the Edo period (1603-1868), in a small village called Hatajuku in the Hakone mountains. It was sold as a souvenir to travelers resting in the post town. In those days, it mainly featured simple or disarrayed patterns. It was not until the Meiji period (1868-1912) when it started to feature geometric patterns commonly seen today.

There are over 100 different kinds of patterns used on Hakone wood mosaic, including checkers, stripes, asanoha (hemp leaf), and yabane (fletching) patterns. Every item is individually crafted by a skilled artisan to have a distinct design. Besides traditional items such as chests, boxes, drawers, trays, and tea caddies, you can also find contemporary products such as business card holders, mousepads, and other items suitable for today's lifestyle.

Designated as a Traditional Craft of Japan in 1984
Creators of Hakone wood mosaic