Sep 13, 2023
Artisans update timeless craft of intricate ‘puzzle cabinets’
Contributing writer About the size of a medium parcel, the chest is a
About the size of a medium parcel, the chest is a beautifully burnished chestnut brown with no decorations save for curved iron handles on each of its four drawers. Norikazu Oyanagi tugs on each handle, showing us how each drawer refuses to budge.
Then, the wizardry begins.
Oyanagi lifts the bottom right handle and removes the wooden panel it's attached to, revealing — another drawer? No — a narrow, lidded box for valuables. At its base hides another secret drawer; the wooden pieces fit so seamlessly you’d never know it was there. There seem to be an unending series of latches and clandestine drawers. Just when you think he couldn't possibly have shoehorned any more delightful tricks into this cabinet, he uncovers yet another two compartments concealed at the back of the cabinet.
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