Karakuri Box Idea Contest Newest Winner

These are the newest winner of Karakuri Box Idea Contest.
Watch the other annual winners   Click here



◆Unique grand prix  ”A line of ants”
Original idea by Sakura Hiroyama
Hand-crafted by Hiroshi Iwahara , Hideaki Kawashima (Karakuri Creation Group)

Ants are usually in a line when they
look for food, this is the image. A slightly reddish material is used as the ground.
You will find an ant nest, sugar, and ants
on the ground. Oh, ants usually line up neatly and orderly, but…?
By the way, I made the shape of the
drawer knob a little different. The shape
is often likened to ants or butterflies,
 in woodcraft.
I heard it is called “dovetail” in English.

Your challenge: Another ant is hidden.
Can you find it?



◆Astonishment grand prix  ”Surprising drawer”
Original idea by Yosuke Tanaka
Hand-crafted by Osamu Kasho (Karakuri Creation Group)

It isn’t difficult to open the drawer.
When the drawer is open, pull it gently.
You’ll then see something surprising.
I tried to express the joy of its movement more than the difficulty.
This product might be one that you’ll want
to open again and again.
I gave much effort to make it move
smoothly.



◆Design grand prix  ”Ironing”
Original idea by Yuri Nishikawa
Hand-crafted by Akio Kamei, Yasuaki Kikuchi (Karakuri Creation Group)

The size of the plug and iron are overtly emphasized.
Please enjoy the unbalance.
The knob on the drawer is cute and is designed as a button.

Think about the mechanism…
If there is no electricity the iron can’t work. When you figure it out, the drawer will finally open.



◆Favorite grand prix  ”Penguin Box”
Original idea by Yoichi Chiku
Hand-crafted by Yoh Kakuda (Karakuri Creation Group)

When penguins move on the ice, sliding on its stomach is faster than walking. That behavior is called “toboggan.”
The adorable behavior is made into a Karakuri box.
Please slide well.




2020 Karakuri Box Idea contest Screening report
Naoaki Takashima, a member of jury group

Congratulations grand prix award winners!
Thank you for all who vote for the award on the four karakuri boxes.
Thank you for all craftsmen of Karakuri Creation Group who converted the applicant’s ideas to real karakuri boxes with excellent craftsmanship.
And, I also thank many supporters of this contest.

Though the COVID-19 spread rapidly in any part of Japan since this March, we are pleased to the fact that we received 193 ideas as applications of this contest. This number is larger than that of the last contest.

The five jury members for the first-stage screening were Oji Kurotaki, Tadayuki Sakamoto, Tsutomu Onosawa, Hiroshi Iwahara and I. As the special case of this time, each jury performed the screening separately at their own home due to the spreading COVID-19.
At the first-stage screening, all applied ideas are examined in details by each jury before April 10.
The contents of applications submitted to us were not the completed design of karakuri box but only the idea which explain how the karakuri box works.

So, at the first-stage screening, each jury considered whether the proposed ideas will be fun to play or not when the idea become real, as well as whether they are innovative ideas or not,
The result of the first-stage screening was sent to the Karakuri Creeation Group for the second-stage screening performed by craftsmen, At the second-stage screening the feasibility of manufacturing was assessed. And finally four ideas were selected for manufacturing. The craftsmen of Karakuri Creation Group converted the original ideas into real karakuri boxes by communication with original applicants.

It should be noted that the name of grand prix awarded to each of the four selected ideas based on voting of general public does not mean the ranking of them. Each idea has its incomparable wonderful feature. Please enjoy each of them by manipulating by your hand,
The special feature of the selected items of this year is, aside from the excellent innovative idea of “Strange drawers”, that three young applicants who proposed the ideas of “a line of ants”,”penguin box” and “ironing”, are supposed to get the hints of ideas from events encountered in daily life such as experience of household task or observation of ecology of animals in the real world or in the TV screen.

From my past several times of experiences as a jury of this contests, I think that it is young people who propose the ideas free from established concept which is not easy to hit upon even by professional designer.

So, I believe a hint of excellent idea for karakuri box might be obtained by paying notice to the various events encountered in daily life. That many young and old will get the idea found in such a way in the future contests is strongly expected.

September 1, 2020
Naoaki Takashima