This board was acquired from an antique store in Kyoto. They are a well-established and trustworthy shop.
The board is a hagi Kaya board. A hagi board is made of multiple pieces (5 in this case) joined together, carefully selected to prevent warping. This is preferred when dealing with thinner boards, as a single piece of wood has a tendency to warp over time. The tightly-packed and wavy lines of Kaya show in the endgrain, and the color is remarkable. Kaya is quite dense, so at 6.5 kilograms it is far heavier than another board of the same thickness made from pine or spruce.
The five pieces selected are well-paired, so that the endgrain of the board imitates a quarter-sawn look (Tenchi). The surface and sides produce straight lines that make it easy to focus on the positions of stones for a long time without the strain that comes from a bright wood like spruce.
The grid-lines are hand-lacquered tachimori. The surface could use a scrub with a damp towel, and pressing a hot iron onto the towel will help reduce some small defects (most are dents from aggressive stone slamming). The nice thing about a thin board like this is that it can make a nice table board with the legs removed, so it is somewhat versatile.
It stands 17cm tall with the legs on. The legs are a warm color similar to the board, so they may also be Kaya (probably oiled) or could be Katsura. They have proud shoulders, which is a good sign of quality.
The board comes with a paulownia lid. This lightweight wood helps prevent impacts and UV damage.
This is a Vintage product.
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