I am fairly certain this lovely small Japanese lacquer on papier mache box dates to Meiji period, which extended from 1868 to 1912. It features wonderfully detailed depictions of interior scenes, including figures in beautifully decorated kimonos sitting and eating, all rendered in gold, white and black against red. I just love the specificity of the imagery, down to the facial expressions of each figure, and the overall effect it creates of glimpsing into a private world.
While this piece definitely shows its age, with an all-over pattern of hairline cracks in the surface of the lacquer as well some chips particularly around the edges, these don't interfere with the legibility of the imagery and I think rather add to its charm. The lacquer on the interior of the box is in very good shape.
The box measures 3" tall x 3 1/8" in diameter.