We are Fay and Marc Kahn. We live in Vancouver, Washington with our 2 daughters and our dog.
Fay is a watercolor painter. Marc is an independent computer software consultant.
Amongst other things, we collect round wooden boxes.
Fay grew up in upstate New York, in the 1950's. The bowl and dresser box, pictured on this page, were on display in her house for as long as she can remember. Maybe they came from one of her uncles, who was in the U.S. Navy and visited Occupied Japan. No one is left to remember. These pieces came to Fay in 1972, when her mother passed away.
Over the years, Fay purchased several similar boxes in antique stores.
Nobody seemed to know much about them, and they could be bought fairly inexpensively.
When we got together, in 1983, Marc joined the hunt.
By November of 1998, we had accumulated about 10 boxes and coaster sets.
Then Marc found ebay, the online auction site.
Since we were so used to buying these boxes whenever we found them, Marc would bid on any box of the genre which came up for auction. The great majority of the time, the box was ours for a minimum bid. Periodically, someone would bid against us. With the exception of one lady in Arizona who had purchased an oriental bamboo bar and wanted some coasters to accessorize, we never saw the same person bidding against us in multiple auctions. It became clear that no one else was collecting these boxes. We feel certain that if there were any other collectors out there, we would see them on ebay. But they never showed up.
It is our goal to entice some other collectors to get interested in these marvelous works of craftsmanship.
Where we live, in the Pacific Northwest, it rains for more than half the year, from Fall to Spring.
To survive, and maintain one's sanity, it is important to find an indoor activity.
For the Winter of 1999-2000, Marc's project is to learn HTML, become familiar with digital photography,
and to build this website.
When we identified Miyajima as the subject of much of the line carving, Marc went looking for all mentions of Miyajima on ebay. He found a woodblock print by the artist Tsuchiya Koitsu, entitled "Snowy Miyajima", from 1937. It is a magnificent piece of artwork. One thing leads to another, and now we are compiling a wonderful collection of Japanese woodblock prints which were produced at about the same time as these boxes.
We look forward to corresponding with other interested collectors or people with knowledge about the history or the techniques used to produce these boxes. Just click on the email link, below.