Karakuri Box Idea Contest Newest Winner

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

◆Favorite grand prix  ”Karakuri chest”
Original idea by Makoto Imai
Hand-crafted by Hideaki Kawashima (Karakuri Creation Group)

This karakuri-box is based on a chest with double doors.
The doors seem to open, but they don’t.
So, what do you do? Don’t believe what you see.
The knobs are so small that opening and closing them requires a bit of dexterity.
There have been two previous chests of drawers in our idea contest.
The trick is completely different.

Production process (Japanese text only) Click here

◆Waku Waku grand prix  ”Lift off !!”
Original idea by Sakurai Kaname
Hand-crafted by Sugimoto Shou (Karakuri Creation Group)

I had to work on many details, both related to the trick and not.
It took a lot of work, but I think it turned out to be very convincing.
Please enjoy the karakuri while thinking about the universe.

Production process (Japanese text only) Click here

◆Unique grand prix  ”I want you to help me!”
Original idea by Kento Munakata
Hand-crafted by Yasuaki Kikuchi , Yoh Kakuda (Karakuri Creation Group)

This work was produced by Karakuri Creation Group’s craftsmen.
‘‘What the heck! There is a boy who is in trouble on a steep slope!
Just looking at it feels painful…
It’s like a wall! Someone help him quickly please!’’
The fate of the karakuri box is that we have to hide the hardest part of the gimmick.

Production process (Japanese text only) Click here

◆Astonishment grand prix  ”Digital Numbers”
Original idea by Yousuke Tanaka
Hand-crafted by Osamu Kasho (Karakuri Creation Group)

This work was made from the idea, “The box will open after the digital numbers are changed.”
There are three handles in front of the box.
You can create the numbers on the top board by controlling these handles.
You will see the final number in the bottom of the drawer after open it completely.
It can show many numbers. It is very technical work.

Production process (Japanese text only) Click here

◆Design grand prix  ”Monoyukashi”

Original idea by Takeshi Iijima
Hand-crafted by Hiroshi Iwahara (Karakuri Creation Group)

Roses bloom and butterflies fly to collect nectar.
Such a scene of the landscape that is somehow fascinating has been made into a Karakuri Item.
It is made of upper and lower halves, and the drawer is locked.
Strategically use the rose petals and the butterfly to unlock the drawer.
If you could shift the upper half 1 cm to the side, you are successful.
Some people who get used to Karakuri turn the item upside down to unlock it.
But we also added an additional lock to this work. Good luck!

Production process (Japanese text only) Click here

2021 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 five Karakuri boxes.  Thank you for all members of Karakuri Creation Group who converted the applicant’s ideas to real Karakuri boxes with excellent detailed design and craftsmanship. And, I also thank all supporters of this contest. 

Though the COVID-19 spread rapidly in any part of Japan since last year, we are pleased to announce the fact that we received 242 ideas as entries of this contest.

The five jury members for the first-stage screening were Oji Kurotaki, Tadayuki Sakamoto, Tsutomu Onosawa, Hiroshi Iwahara and I. Due to the COVID-19 situation, each jury performed the screening independently at their own home. At the first-stage screening, all entries are examined in detail before April 10, 2021.

The entries of this contest submitted to us were shown not the concrete design of Karakuri box but only shown the idea which explain how the Karakuri box works. 

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 or not.

The result of the first-stage screening was sent to the Karakuri Creeation Group for the second-stage screening performed by the members of the Group. They assessed the feasibility of manufacturing of each ideas screened at the first-stage. And finally five ideas (“Karakuri Chest”, “Lift off‼”, “I want you to help me!”, “Digital Numbers”, and “Monoyukashi”) were selected for detail design and manufacturing. The members of Karakuri Creation Group had converted the original ideas into concrete Karakuri boxes by close contact with the applicants who created the original ideas.    

It should be noted that the name of grand prix given to each of the five selected ideas based on voting of general public does not show the ranking of them. Each idea has its incomparable wonderful feature. Please enjoy each of them by manipulating in your own hand.

Comparing award winners of this year to that of the last year, age composition of them is quite different. Among five award winners of this year, three are forties and two are teen-agers, whereas three out of four award winners of last year were young people. This fact may feature this year’s result of the contest. Of course each ideas of the three forties, i.e. Karakuri Chest”, “Digital Numbers”, and “Monoyukashi”, are attractive and innovative, but they are different impression to me from that of the two teen-agers. Perhaps the three forties have always been looking for the ideas of Karakuri box and the ideas which they got were incubated in their mind for a long time. And the ideas of two teen-agers, i.e. “Lift off‼” and “I want you to help me!”, are supposed to find the hints of ideas from events encountered in daily life, which may be very similar way of young people to get ideas in the last year’s contest.

I would like to repeat the comments of the last year as follows:
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. 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 in such a way in the future contests is strongly expected.

September 1, 2021
Naoaki Takashima