The king of stationery, Masayuki Takabatake, obtained this mysterious looking box at an antique fair. I see some kanji letters meaning stone, poison, medicine, snake, etc., but I am not sure what exactly this is (@_@).
Let’s see the back side. The description is written in English too. “JACHO-SEKI is wonderfully efficacious for curing injuries caused by centipedes, snakes, fleas, bedbugs, poisonous rats, mad dogs and all other animals. It cures by absorbing the poison introduced into the wound.” Oh, I see. This seems to be a cure-all for insect and animal bites. But, I’ve never heard of “poisonous rats”. I wonder if some rats are poisonous like snakes?
The contents are very small compared to the package box.
And the cure-all is wrapped with thin paper and encased in a small celluloid box.
The actual product looks like a smooth stone or bit of charcoal.
31×15×5mm / 2.3g / very black
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A tablet of JACHO-SEKI is worth countless tons of cure.”
The price is ¥0.50 (nowadays we don’t have currency denominations of less then 1 yen) .
I guess many readers are now wondering why Bungu-o, the king of stationery, picked up this cure-all tablet for his website. It’s not stationary at all! But actually, this JACHO-SEKI was a product made by a very traditional Japanese stationery company called Kyukyo-do.
But why did the stationery company make such a product? Bungu-o surmises that Kyukyo-do could have easily bought the ingredients of JACHO-SEKI from the same calligraphy ink and fragrant wood suppliers that the company was mainly dealing with at that time.
It is quite uncertain whether this tablet really works as a remedy for poisonous bites, but people in those days must have trusted the strong suggestions depicted on the box’s product description 🙂
This is JAPAN Style!