Monday 22 December 2014

Karakuri Christmas Present #1 - "Lock"

This is the first of my four Karakuri 2014 Christmas presents from the Karakuri Creation Group of Hakone, Japan.

Like all Karakuri Christmas presents for the year, the puzzle comes packaged in a box....and that is all there is to it. It does not mention the designer and many don't even state the puzzle's name. You won't know who designed which puzzle in the series, unless of course you only ordered one puzzle from a particular designer (or perhaps two) or you are very familiar with a certain designer's style. For most part, if you had ordered multiple items like me, you may have some difficulty identifying the puzzle's designer. It is only during the early part of the following year when the Karakuri Group sends to all recipients information and solutions for the Christmas present puzzles that all is revealed.

For now, I am calling this puzzle "Antique Lock" because it does resemble one of those antique Chinese locks. My guess is also that this puzzle has been designed and made by Tatsuo Miyamoto. If anyone knows to the contrary, please drop me a PM, thanks. (Edit 10 Jan 2015: Yes, it's been confirmed that it's Miyamoto and the official name is "Lock") 

This one appears to be made of walnut throughout and workmanship is superb with etched lines on the body and fine detailing. Its a fairly large lock at 12cm x 9cm x 3.4cm. It even has a key hole on the front side but this as I discovered, is carved and non-functional.

The goal is to "open" the lock. When I solved the puzzle, I literally opened a drawer which is released from the bottom. Although the puzzle is very easy to solve (2-3 steps), the mechanism is very well hidden owing to the fine craftsmanship. The drawer is large enough for small items like rings, jewelry and other keepsakes. Simple puzzle yes...but looks great and displays very well.


  1. Thanks Jerry, a great review and a beautiful puzzle. Can you beat Walnut! I don’t think so....