October 31, 2007

Oguro Saburo Is The Hardest-Working Man In The Japanese Jigsaw Puzzle Business


After finding his hina matsuri puzzle dolls yesterday, I wanted to see more of Oguro Saburo's intricately modern work. Be careful what you wish for, the guy is a puzzle-making machine. If the jigsaws and wood planks ever rise up against their human oppressors, Oguro's is gonna be the head on the chopping block.

I was already high on sweet puzzle endorphins when I saw the hippo and babies puzzle above [5,250 yen, there's a dozen of them]. And then I realized Oguro's site, U-Plan, didn't have 129 toys left, but 129pages of toys, six per page. Throw in the DIY kits and the books of design templates, and there's over 1,000 SKU's. Some sweet spots:


This samurai warrior is pretty amazing. At 21,000 yen, it's heirloom-priced, but it does come in that nice, custom-fit, lacquered box, which can be used as a display stand.


Enzo Mario Brothers? There's a whole series of these Tetris-shaped animal blocks, in different sizes and woods, which can fit flat or form cubes. Fortunately, they don't disappear; the cheapest set is 6,300 yen.


The most spectacular Oguro work, though, may not actually be a puzzle. It's a giant Oni family set, red and blue devils roasting a pig on a spit and having a grand old time. Unfortunately, I didn't realize I'd pulled out the small version; each oni is just 5cm tall, so the whole thing's a massive choke hazard. And if the small one's 28,000 yen, I don't even want to know what the large set costs.

Oguro has designed a few puzzles for Naef [he's credited as Sabu Oguro], but as far as I can tell, his work is not really sold in the non-kanji-based world.

Visit Ogura Saburo's company, U-Plan. The catalogue's the second icon from the top on the left. [u-plan.jp]
Buy Oguro's template books at Amazon JP [amazon.co.jp]


I love these! And my mom's in Japan right now ...

I cannot speak or read Japanese but was given a book almost entirely in Japanese except for some captions. In one place I saw the name "SABU OGURO" . which led me to this site where I was greatly enlightened and now have a better understanding of the book which has about 230 pages with colored and black &white pictures and very many wonderful patterns which I can cut with A Scroll Saw

Fox Chapel Publishing has published Oguro's work in the States.

Google DT

Contact DT

Daddy Types is published by Greg Allen with the help of readers like you.
Got tips, advice, questions, and suggestions? Send them to:
greg [at] daddytypes [dot] com

Join the [eventual] Daddy Types mailing list!



copyright 2018 daddy types, llc.
no unauthorized commercial reuse.
privacy and terms of use
published using movable type