Definition of netsuke
plural netsuke or netsukes
: a small and often intricately carved toggle (as of wood or ivory) used to fasten a small container to a kimono sash
Did You Know?
Netsuke - the word in English can be pluralized as either netsuke or netsukes - were traditionally part of a man's dress, used to attach a medicine box, pipe, or tobacco pouch to the sash (called an obi) of a Japanese man's traditional kimono. Because the members of the newly risen merchant class, ranking below the samurai, were not permitted to wear jewelry, netsuke took the place of other personal adornment. With the end of the Tokugawa regime, leading to new customs of dress and the introduction of the cigarette shortly thereafter, netsuke became obsolete, though some were still carved to supply the demand of foreign residents and tourists.
Origin of netsuke
First Known Use: 1876
Learn More about netsuke
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "netsuke"
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