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Jigsaw puzzles from Japan

Hari-e

Japan has a long long tradition of paper crafts. There are a number of techniques for making pictures by pasting paper instead of brushing paint, and somewhat confusing terms for them: hari-e simply means "pasted pictures"; chigiri-e "torn pictures", and kiri-e "cut pictures". There seems to be no clear English term for these techniques - "collage" (from the French, meaning 'glued on') has been suggested, but the usual implication of this term is that the items retain their individual patterns and identities, rather than being (usually small) pieces of plain paper.

Jiro Takidaira

Signature

Takidaira's work signed with a stylised seal of his given name Jirō (二郎)

Takidaira (his family name) was a distinguished artist in the fields of woodblock print and papercut art, becoming well known after his series of distinctive paper cuts (kiri-e) in the Asahi newspaper during the 1970s. Born in 1921, he died in 2009 at the age of 88.

Kitten
© Jiro Takidaira

300: Kitten (Takidaira)

In this dramatic vignette, a woman gently carries a white kitten through the snow, while a child clutches her shawl...

In stock
A Cuties puzzle: 300 pieces; 38 x 26 cm (15" x 10")
Code: C03153 (300-153 on box)
Retail price ¥1800 (approx. US$16.98 €14.06 £12.41)
Shipping from ¥500 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$4.72 €3.91 £3.45)
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Camellia
© Jiro Takidaira

300: Camellia (Takidaira)

A young kimono-clad female figure threads camellia blossoms in a chain. For what purpose we do not know...

In stock
A Cuties puzzle: 300 pieces; 38 x 26 cm (15" x 10")
Code: C03154 (300-154 on box)
Retail price ¥1800 (approx. US$16.98 €14.06 £12.41)
Shipping from ¥500 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$4.72 €3.91 £3.45)
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Yamashita Kiyoshi

Born in 1922 in Tokyo, Yamashita had a troubled childhood: - after a bullying incident at school involving a knife, he was classified as mentally handicapped, and placed in an institution. His genius for creating harie (pasted paper pictures) was soon realised, though, and eventually he featured in many exhibitions across Japan. He remained an eccentric: from 1940 to 1954 he roamed the country wearing only an undershirt (it is said), earning himself the moniker of "The naked artist wanderer". Although he travelled widely seeking material, including an extended tour of Europe in 1961, it seems he did not work in the field, but would return to his studio and create images entirely from memory. He died in 1971 at the early age of 49.

His story has been dramatised a number of times, in the 1956 film known as "The naked general" and later television series.

Tower Bridge
© Seibi-sha

1000: Tower Bridge (Yamashita)

The artist made a tour of Europe in 1961, resulting in a series of depictions of landmarks such as Tower Bridge in London.

In stock
A Yanoman puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: Y101262 (10-1262 on box)
Retail price ¥3000 (approx. US$28.30 €23.44 £20.69)
Shipping from ¥1100 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$10.38 €8.59 £7.59)
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Fujishiro Seiji

Born in 1924, Fujishiro has had a long and productive career as an illustrator - producing many children's books, and creating his own brand of fantasy along the way. From an early involvement with shadow puppetry, he developed his own unique style: he calls these kage-e (literally "shadow pictures"), but his is a backlit world not of black and white (or grey), but of wonderful translucent colours, apparently made mostly from tissue paper.

He is still active at the age of 80, and his work has appeared all over the world, most recently (February 2005) in New York and Washington.

After the rain, let the music reign
© Fujishiro Seiji

1000: After the rain, let the music reign (Fujishiro)

There's something northern European about the setting (shades of van Goch somehow), but the title and characters are pure Fujishiro.

This is a 'glow-in-the-dark' puzzle.

* This is a glow-in-the-dark puzzle.

In stock
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 50 x 75 cm (20" x 30")
Code: A10427 (1000-427 on box)
Retail price ¥3900 (approx. US$36.79 €30.47 £26.90)
Shipping from ¥1100 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$10.38 €8.59 £7.59)
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The fountains of love
© Fujishiro Seiji

1000: The fountains of love (Fujishiro)

Musicians and dancers are all elegantly dressed for this exuberant display...

Detail
In stock
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: A10496 (1000-496 on box)
Retail price ¥3600 (approx. US$33.96 €28.13 £24.83)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.32 €9.38 £8.28)
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Rocking horse dream
© Fujishiro Seiji

1000: Rocking horse dream (Fujishiro)

Horses from the central merry-go-round reach for the sky!

Detail
In stock
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: A10255 (1000-255 on box)
Retail price ¥3600 (approx. US$33.96 €28.13 £24.83)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.32 €9.38 £8.28)
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See separate page for lots more Fujishiro puzzles

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