Hand-engraved Japanese wooden box with matsu (pine) motif


This superb rectangular Japanese box in light paulownia wood was made entirely by hand by the craftsmen at Maruni, a venerable Kyōto institution (established in 1903) specialising in kyo karakami, printing on Japanese paper, originally used mainly to decorate fusuma (sliding paper partitions).

To explain the incredible work that has been done by hand on this box, we first need to explain kyo karakami. The method has been traditional in Kyōto since the Heian era (8th-12th centuries): dyes called kira (mica) and gofun (white) are mixed to obtain the desired hue and then applied, using a round sieve, to a block of wood engraved with a motif. Japanese paper is then laid, little by little, onto the engraved wooden plate, taking on the colour and the motif. The sheets are worked one by one.

The wooden printing blocks used are engraved by hand and Maruni continues to use those that were engraved in the 19th century, a fabulous ode to the quality of craftsmanship handed down from generation to generation.

For this box, the craftsman has transcribed this heritage by hand-engraving, using tiny tools and with incredible finesse, a traditional Maruni motif that can be found on some of the larger-scale wooden blocks.

To complete the box, an antique fusuma handle in black metal with a beautiful matsu (pine) motif has been added, providing a striking contrast.

This object is unique and extremely decorative, created by Maruni to showcase the full extent of its craftsmanship expertise, a precious object of Japanese craftsmanship that links traditional heritage with contemporary vision.

Paulownia wood comes from an Asian tree. It is extremely resistant, strong, solid and exceptionally light. Paulownia boxes are often found in Japanese homes for storing belongings or treasures.


Length 15,8cm x Width 11cm x Height 5,8cm

WEIGHT 140gr
COMPOSITION Paulownia wood, metal

This object keeps in memory the hand of the craftsman who designed it with patience. It will accompany your daily life, bringing its delicate and refined beauty, while contributing to the preservation of unique craftsmanship.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS: Clean with a soft cloth to avoid scratches, soaked with a little warm water if necessary. No microwave, dishwasher, dryer.

Shipping costs will be calculated and added at checkout.

We usually ship orders within 48 business hours (except for fine art photographic prints, which require between 5 and 10 business days because they are prepared on demand), but it may happen that this delay is longer when new collections are put online or if we are traveling abroad.
In this case we will indicate the new delays in the announcement banner at the top of each page of the site, please refer to it before ordering (the usual delays would apply if the banner does not refer to it).

The shipping costs are calculated and added during the finalization of the basket.

Deliveries are made by Colissimo with tracking. Each package is, at the buyer's choice, delivered at home against a signature or delivered in a Point Relais La Poste. Packages are insured up to their value against loss or damage.

For the moment we deliver in France (metropolitan and overseas), the European Union countries and United States. Subscribe to our newsletter to be informed of the opening of new geographical areas.

Metropolitan France, Andorra, Monaco. From 5,47€

France Overseas zone 1 (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, Guyana, Mayotte and St-Pierre-et-Miquelon). From 15,71€

France Overseas zone 2 (New Caledonia, French Polynesia...). From 23.05€

Zone 1 (Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands). From 10,55€

Zone 2 (Austria, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Portugal). From 12,12€

Zone 3 (Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden). From 13,63€

Zone 4 (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Finland, Greece, Malta, Romania). From 16,00€

Zone 5 (United States). From 30,80€

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