Japanese Design Object
The term is formed from the characters ne (根) (meaning “root”) and tsuke (付) (meaning “attached”). In English the word may be italicised or not, with American English tending to favour the former and British English the latter.
Netsuke: A little Japanese sculptured item of ivory, wood, or porcelain that ranges in height and width from one-half to three inches. Mythological images, flowers, animals, gods, and goddesses are among the carvings. Netsuke pieces were initially employed as toggles in the fourteenth century. A cord was slipped under and over the obi and through a hole in the netsuke. The cord was used to suspend a tiny medicine box, cosmetic box, handbag, or knife. These things were kept from slipping by the netsuke. The ancient ones, which are prized collectors’ items, are exquisitely detailed.
Netsuke is still made today, and some modern netsuke can fetch significant sums in the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, Japan, and elsewhere. Museums and souvenir stores sell inexpensive yet accurate copies.
Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.
McDermott, C. (1997). Twentieth century design. Carlton.
You may also be interested in
By Patricia J. Graham This Japanese design book presents Japan’s arts, aesthetics and culture with over 160 stunning colour photos and extensive historical and cultural commentaries. The Japanese sensitivity has an intuitive, emotional attraction, whether it’s a silk kimono, a sparkling garden path, an architectural marvel, a teapot or a contemporary piece of art.
Ukiyo-e is a Japanese art form that flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries. Its artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of female beauties, kabuki performers, and sumo wrestlers, historical and folk tale scenes, travel scenes and landscapes, flora and fauna, and erotica, among other subjects.