The origin of the Nikko-bori was an extra job of professional carpenters.
Those carpenters took a part of Toshogu reforming in the period
of the third successive shogun Iemitsu. There is a unique tool for
the carving. It is called Hikkaki. The Hikkaki is a kind of graver
that the point is curved in order to pull to the front easily. It
is imaginable that the carpenters reformed the original graver for
The main patterns are based on the plants such
as peony, chrysanthemum and cherry flower. These may be influenced
by the patters seen in Toghogu Shrine. Wood grains are Tochinoki
(Japanese horse chestnut), Katsura tree, or Hou (Japanese white-bark
magnolia.) These are used in various ways such as round tray, tea
table, dish for sweets, table and flower table.