Demon Slayer inspires us to build an old-timey Japanese puzzle box of our own

If you need a project with an anime Taisho-period twist, try crafting your own puzzle box!

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has gripped anime fans worldwide with its hot-blooded cast and rich, historical setting. The protagonist, Tanjiro, travels through an alternate vision of Taisho-era Japan with his half-demon sister Nezuko, battling demons and proving his skills while searching for a way to turn Nezuko human again. Since the story has a historical setting (the Taisho period spanned from 1912 to 1926 and was a time of rapid industrialization and distinctive fashion) Demon Slayer makes great use of classic kimono designs, old-school instruments, and all manner of beautiful traditional toys.

Our Japanese-language reporter Saya Togashi took a break from lighting rainbow campfires to turn her attention to Demon Slayer, a series she had proudly boasted about ignoring. She fell in love at once and devoured not only the anime series and its accompanying box office smash-hit movie, but also the entire manga. She was especially fascinated by a puzzle box that popped up in an episode just before the events of the movie.

Puzzle boxes, also known as himitsubako or karakuri boxes, are beautifully made little storage boxes that need to be solved to open. So taken was Saya with these pretty little traditional boxes, that she ordered herself a kit to make one of her very own. Since the mountain hot spring town of Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture is particularly famous for puzzle boxes, she opted for one from woodworking company Hakone Maruyama Bussan.

▼ The finished Hakone Maruyama Bussan Puzzle Box Experience Craft Kit (Small), priced 2,000 yen (US$19)

▼ Saya spreads out the components of the kit.

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