This is an antique Japanese sewing box called Hari Bako that was constructed out of Japanese Ash (Tamonoki), Horse Chestnuts (Tochinoki) and Paulownia (Kirinoki).
Its age is from Late Meiji period (1890's-1910's) and it was originally used to store sewing accoutrements, spools of thread, a pin cushion with pins and other tools used by a seamtress or tailor. Present day purposes would include using it as a jewelry box, a keepsake or small collectibles box, a stationary box on a desk or a cosmetics box on a dresser.
The vintage box was in even better condition than I had expected. Better in person than in the pictures. Shipped quickly and very well packaged. Email and phone customer service was exceptional.