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Jigsaw puzzles from Japan

Rural nostalgia

Featured artist on this page: Ikehara Shōji

The "real" Japan is not to be found in the concrete ugliness of modern Tokyo, nor the somewhat stiffly preserved history of Kyoto, but it is still there, beyond the end of the railway line...

(Strictly speaking, some of this nostalgia is urban rather than rural, but the feeling is the same, so anyway...)

Smiling Jizou
© Kuroiwa Toyotaka

2542: Smiling Jizo (Kuroiwa)

The six figures of Jizô here look very happy indeed, surrounded by equally happy-looking sunflowers. Here's my translation of the poem:

Akarui / egao wa / shiawase-gokoro wo / sodatemasu
A bright smile - makes for a happy heart

The artist was born in Nagano in 1947, and specialises in Buddhist themes, with a distinctive whimsically warm style. (Kuroiwa is his family name - he signs his pictures with a stylised seal of his given name, Toyotaka.)

* This puzzle has smaller pieces than the standard size.

Permanently unavailable
Discontinued 2016
An Epoch puzzle: 2542 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: E75015 (75-015 on box)
Retail price ¥3500
Hometown Jizo
© Kuroiwa Toyotaka

1000: Hometown Jizo (Kuroiwa)

The six Jizo figures in an idyllic country scene...

Kiyorakana kawa / sumiwataru sora / Arigatou / furusato
Limpid stream and clear sky... Thank you, my hometown

The artist was born in Nagano in 1947, and specialises in Buddhist themes, with a distinctive whimsically warm style. (Kuroiwa is his family name - he signs his pictures with a stylised seal of his given name, Toyotaka.)

* The picture on the box has a number of "mistakes", slight differences from the puzzle.

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: E59005 (59-005 on box)
Retail price ¥3900 (approx. US$36.11 €33.05 £27.86)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.11 €10.17 £8.57)
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Cherry Jizo
© Kuroiwa Toyotaka

1000: Cherry Jizo (Kuroiwa)

The six Jizo figures look to be in a jolly mood, under an old spreading cherry tree. The inscription (folksy, rather than poetic) reads...

Yasumi-ni oide yo / sakura no oka-ni
Just come for a rest, on cherry mound...

The artist was born in Nagano in 1947, and specialises in Buddhist themes, with a distinctive whimsically warm style. (Kuroiwa is his family name - he signs his pictures with a stylised seal of his given name, Toyotaka.)

Permanently unavailable
An Epoch puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: E11427 (11-427 on box)
Retail price ¥3000

More puzzles on the Kuroiwa feature page

Ikehara Shōji

Born in Kagawa Prefecture (Shikoku) in 1939, Ikehara is an artist specialising in illustration for children's story book, but whose work has also appeared in TV manga versions of traditional tales, and on postage stamps. His style is simple, but effective.

He signs his pictures with a hand-drawn "seal", which is hard to decipher, but looks like the second character of his given name.

Children of spring
© Ikehara Shōji

1000: Children of spring (Ikehara)

A clutch of children wander through the woods, one carrying a pair of takeuma stilts, an older girl carrying the baby, no doubt while her mother works in the fields. The woods are full of nostalgically remembered animals, rabbits, raccoon dogs, and foxes...

In stock
A Beverly puzzle: 1000 pieces; 72 x 49 cm (28" x 19")
Code: B61384 (61-384 on box)
Retail price ¥3000 (approx. US$27.78 €25.42 £21.43)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.11 €10.17 £8.57)
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All about ordering (please read first)
Deleted puzzles

For reference: you can view all the puzzles from this page that have gone out of print in the Attic.