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 carving.
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.