netsuke definition

  • noun:
    • A small toggle, often by means of a carved ivory or wood figure, familiar with secure a purse or container suspended on a cord from the sash of a kimono.
    • a little, often collectible, artistic carving described as an opening or two small holes (紐通し (himotōshi)), most frequently made of timber or ivory, utilized as a fob at the end of a cord attached with a suspended pouch containing pens, medications, or tobacco. Netsuke originated in feudal Japan in the belated sixteenth and 17th centuries.
    • 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.
    • a little knob or key, of horn, wood, ivory, or any other product, usually elaborately carved or inlaid, lacquered, or decorated with enamel, utilized by japan as a bob or toggle relating to a cord for suspending a tobacco-pouch, inro, or comparable article inside gear or girdle.

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