Loading Spinner

Chinese Netsuke

Netsuke, invented in 17th-century Japan, were used to store the personal belongings of particularly pocket-less men during the Edo peruid. They usually made out of ivory or wood, and are only a few inches tall in size. They are used to fasten the cords of a basket or pouch to a man’s waistband.

Netsuke can also be made out of stone or even porcelain. Early motifs on Japanese netsuke were influenced by the Chinese history, culture, and customs. Netsuke featured images such as foo dogs, dragons, and masks. These works could vary from totally three dimensional and round, or mostly flat with relief carved images.

Quick Facts

  • The origin of the word “netsuke” comes from the words “to root” and “to attach” in Japanese
  • Netsuke most often depicted Chinese themes until the 19th century, when Japan focused on representing Japanese themes on netsuke
  • With the introduction of Western clothes in the 19th and 20th century, netsuke ceased to be a utilitarian object and is now sought after as a highly valuable work of art

There are currently no items in Chinese Netsuke. Please click another category to see additional items.