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奥{おく} is the part far away from the "entrance" of a thing, so it could be translated by bottom or back for example depending of the type of object (e.g. a vase or a room). Or end in the case of a shelf ; it will most likely refer to the part the farther from the speaker / listener in this case. So 一番{いちばん}おく would indeed be the far end of the shelf here. ...


おく means the interior of something but is often used to mean "in the back". This is the use of 方 (ほう) meaning a direction. So put together you get something like "toward the deepest" part of the shelf, which you textbook has chosen to express as the "far end".

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