In Japanese costume and decorative art, a small object carved in wood, ivory, bone, or horn, or wrought in metal, and pierced with holes for cords by which it is connected, for convenience, with the inro, the smoking pouch (tabako-ire), and similar objects carried in the girdle. It is now much used on purses sold in Europe and America.
neh-tsoo-kay) small carvings, usually in ivory, made during the Edo period (1603-1868). Commonly fastened to kimonos as decorations and good luck charms.
Ornamental Japanese toggle worn at the waist above the obi or sash. A cord passed through holes in the base from which was hung an inro or a pouch. Netsuke were made from the 17thC in a wide variety of materials, but became redundant when the Japanese adopted Western dress in the 1870s. Most take the form of figures, animals or plants but there are some variations: Manju (rice cake) resembles a bun - either solid or pierced. Ichiraku is made from woven or braided metal, rattan palm or bamboo, forming a basketwork box or gourd. Kagamibuta is a shallow bowl with a decorated metal lid. Sashi netsuke are rod-shaped, up to 5 in (12.5 cm) long, typically depicting an insect or animal perched on a twig or branch.
(NET-soo-kay) Miniature figurines carved from ivory, wood, bone, or other materials.