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Last updated 26/1/2024


The Hexagonal Tematebako / Rokkaku Kamibako
This page is being used to colect information about the history of the design known as the Hexagonal Tematebako, which is made by gluing together six cut modules developed from Thread Containers to create a cuboctahedron. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other important information that should be added. Thank you.


In Japan (and in publications by Japanese authors)


As far as I know this design first appears as 'Rokkaku Kamibako' (Hexagonal Paper Box) in 1893 in volume 3 issue 17 of 'Yonen Zasshi' children's magazine.



Diagrams for the Hexagonal Tematebako, referred to as 'Ishidatami' (cobblestone), were also published in the children's magazine 'Shokokumin' in 1894, spread over three consecutive issue (by mistake!). The title Ishidatami is probably a reference to the Thread Container that the modules are developed from.



A drawing of the Hexagonal Tematebako design, but no diagrams, appears, as 'Crystal Form', in 'Shukouka Kyoju Shishin: Maiji Haitou' by Hyojiro Nakagaki, which was published by Kenseikai in Tokyo in 1904.



In his book 'The Art and Wonder of Origami', Apple Press, 2004, Kunihiko Kasahara states that the Hexagonal Tematebako appeared in Isao Honda's 'Origami', published in 1933. Since it does not appear in the upper part it must appear in the lower, which I have not seen.



This design appears as the 'Six-Sided Box' and, with added tassles, as the 'Hanging Ornament' in 'The World of Origami' by Isao Honda, which was published in the USA by Japan Publications Trading Company in 1965.


In Europe and the Americas


Diagrams for a cuboctahedral design of similar construction appear in 'Houdini's Paper Magic', which was published by E P Dutton and Company of New York in 1922, under the title of 'Japanese Hexagon Puzzle Box'.