Tatebanko is a celebrated 17th century art form creating dioramas and scenic perspectives from fine Japanese art. What made this art form so special was its intimacy and uniqueness, combining depth and color. The beauty of Tatebanko, therefore, is in the hand craftsmanship and attention to detail. On the other hand, you know that tacky piece of artwork your sister’s kid made that you had to put up on your kitchen wall? Well now you can buy it in a Tatebanko diorama kit for $10. It comes with pre-painted scenery on paper with directions for assembly. You essentially construct a paper box with a hand-crafted scene made entirely out of paper and cutouts. What quality can you buy for $10? The 17th century creations were timeless, but these well worn reproductions make you feel as close to Japan as KMart. Or eating California rolls at Jack In the Box. Perhaps if the Tatebanko kit were more expensive, less mass produced, or gave the buyer more options to create something more complex they could be a great purchase. The kit makes a diorama that is 7 1/2” W x 3 1/2” D x 4 7/8” H, just small enough to hide in your bathroom.

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