Definition of netsuke in English:


Pronunciation /ˈnɛtski//ˈnɛtsʊki/


  • A small carved ornament, especially of ivory or wood, worn as part of Japanese traditional dress as a toggle by which an article may be attached to the sash of a kimono.

    • ‘Like netsuke or tsuba, old firefighter jackets have turned into collectibles.’
    • ‘Due to the small size, we related the netsuke to our Western-style jewelry of pendants and pins.’
    • ‘The channel or hole carved into the netsuke for the passage of the cord is called the himotoshi.’
    • ‘In one display wall for Japanese netsuke, for example, the configuration of individual slotted shelves drew its inspiration from the linear flow of a landscape scroll painting.’
    • ‘Knowledge of reference books is therefore of great value when a rare netsuke is being sold for what appears to be a bargain price.’
    • ‘Turn-of-the century plastic netsuke and okimono are lighter in weight than the originals but this problem has been overcome with the modern copies.’
    • ‘The situation reminds of other art items like netsuke or tsuba in the 50s when these items where collected only by a small minority.’
    • ‘There is a trend in connoisseurship to make the mistake of believing that a netsuke that is carved by a pupil in the style of his master and bearing his signature is in some way less powerful or inventive than one might expect from the master.’
    • ‘Despite being so decorative, netsuke were practical objects.’
    • ‘Many netsuke were carved and signed by famous artists.’
    • ‘The numbers of original netsuke carved in ivory and wood were about equal.’
    • ‘In other words, potters made the porcelain netsuke, and lacquerers produced the lacquer netsuke.’
    • ‘The earliest netsuke were carved in Osaka and Kyoto, but in the late eighteenth century many were made in Edo and in other sophisticated regions of Japan.’
    • ‘The old netsuke, those made in the golden age between the late 18th century and the middle of the 19th, show over a century of natural aging and wear to their surfaces.’
    • ‘The netsuke, with the kimono sash and a sliding bead, together formed a kind of removable hip pocket.’


Late 19th century: from Japanese.