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Aren’t All Music Boxes Japanese Music Boxes?


It seems like almost anything in Europe, Canada or America these days is manufactured in Asia.  It would be a shock to discover a music box that wasn’t made in Japan, China or Taiwan.  Many of the same parts in a music box can also be found in modern Asian-made children’s toys, watches and mobiles.  But the small Japanese music boxes are not only music to the ear, but music to the eye as well.  They are highly sought after collectables.  They are not as expensive as Reuge music boxes (which are Swiss made) which makes them a more affordable collectable.

Sankyo Seiki

The largest manufacturer of Japanese music boxes and other little gifts and objects that play music in the way a music box does is Sankyo Seiki (usually just called Sankyo).  The company started in 1962 and claims that it is the largest manufacturer of music boxes in the world, let alone Japanese music boxes.  It has modeled many of their Japanese music boxes on European-style music boxes.

One of the reasons people like collecting Sankyo music boxes is that the musical device which makes the tune can be removed so you can place a new tune inside of the save beautiful little box.  Then, your Japanese music boxes become like record players and the cylinder and prong arrangement that makes the tune becomes like a very strange looking record.  A new tune can cost as little as five American dollars – about the cost of a 33rpm record album in the 1970’s.

So Many Boxes, So Little Time

Sankyo Japanese music boxes come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors.  Some look like beautiful little wooden keepsake boxes, while some are a combination of a jewelry box and a music box.  Some are shaped like little pianos and some are shaped like very realistic violins.  Some are porcelain-like figurines with a music box at the base.  All of them are enchanting.

Japanese music boxes come in all musical and artistic tastes.  Some of the figurines outdo the Precious Moments porcelain figurine series in sappiness.  But even if you buy one in a fit of blind collection fever, there is a willing market ready to take the tackiest of your Japanese music boxes off of your hands.  There is a thriving market for Japanese music boxes on the Internet on such online auction sites as eBay and iOffer.  There are also many home businesses dealing in music boxes.


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    Filed Under: Japanese Music Boxes Tagged with Japanese music boxes, reuge music boxes