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Manjunetsuke Ivory Scholar. Early 20th Century.

SKU: Manjunetsuke Scholar $74.95
The traditional Japanese attire, the robes called 'Kosode'and 'Kimono'do not have pockets. However, the men who wore them needed a place to store their personal belongings and items necessary for every day life. Their solution was to place such objects in containers called 'sagemono'which hung by cords from the robe's sashes or Obi. These would carry anything the user required such as yen, tobacco, seals , pipes or medicines as long as they fit in an approx. 10 cm. x 7 cm. x 1.5 cm. space. The containers may have been pouches or small woven baskets, but the most popular were beautifully crafted boxes called 'Inro.' The Inro were held shut by 'ojimes' which were sliding beads on cords. Whatever the form of container, the button-like, toggle fastener that suspended the Inro by a cord looped over the Obi was a 'Netsuke' The Netsuke prevented the Inro cord from slipping through the Obi and being lost. Netsuke, like the inro or ojime, evolved over time from being strictly utilitarian into objects of great artistic merit and an expression of extraordinary craftsmanship. Netsuke has a long history of reflecting the important aspects of Japanese folklore politics, satire and life. Production was most popular during the Edo period in Japan, around 1615 '' 1868. Today, the art lives on, and some modern works can command high prices in the U.K., Europe, U.S., Japan and elsewhere.