I received a gift from a Japanese business associate Tuesday as a thank you for help on a recent project. He knows I'm into woodworking, and he knows how to find things to impress me. The platter, about 10" in diameter, is called Yosegi-Zaiku. I'll let Stu or Alex chime in with an English translation, but to my eye, it's simply sweet marquetry. They glue up the patterns as blocks, then shave off thin end grain veneers with a wooden hand plane. Those are then glued to various substrates, often fancy puzzle boxes and such. (On boxes, the technique is called something else, I believe.)
In my thank you note back to him, I told him this piece would be displayed with honor in my home, and indeed it will be.
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