Yosegi is known for its beautiful and intricate patterns. Despite its vivid hues, nothing is painted—all the colors come from the natural hues of different woods, which come from the many trees that grow in the Hakone region of Japan, where the technique originated.
To begin the process, the yosegi artist glues different wooden rods together to form geometric patterns and shapes in one big block. Next is the coolest part: The artist shaves tiny slices off of the patterned block so that each slice bears the design. Finally, the artist uses those slices to decorate boxes and other wooden objects.