Wikipedia states that netsuke are miniature sculptures that were invented in 17thcentury Japan to serve a practical function 根付 (netsuke). Those functions are using them as a place to store personal belongings such as pipes, tobacco, money, seals or medicine since traditional Japanese garments – robes called kosode and kimono.It places in containers (called sagemono) hung by cords from the robes’s sashes (obi). The containers may have been pouchers or small woven baskets, but the most popular were beautifully crafted box (inro), which were held shut by ojime, which were sliding beads on cords. But whatever the form of the container, the fastener that secured the cord at the top of the sash was a carved, button-like toggle which is called netsuke.
Simple, netsuke can also be defined as a small miniature carving attached to the end of a cord hanging from pouch.
There are also several definition or terms and explanation about netsuke (根付) :
Based on Wiktionary, netsuke is a small, often collectible, artistic carving characterized by an opening or two small holes (himotoshi), most commonly made of wood or ivory, used as a fob at the end of a cord attached to a suspended pouch containing pens, medicines, or tobacco. Netsuke originated in feudal Japan in the late 16th and 17th centuries.
GNU Webster’s 1913 explains that netsuke is exist in Japanese costume and decorative art as a small object carved in wood, ivory, bone, or
horn, or wrought in metal, and pierced with holes for cords by which it is
connected, for convenience, with the inro, the smoking pouch (tabako-ire), and
similar objects carried in the girdle. It is now much used on purses sold in
Europe and America.
One of those netsuke is a Netsuke which is depicted as Hotei is
shown by the image below :
Hotei is traditionally depicted as a fat bald man wearing a robe and wearing or otherwise carrying prayer beads. He carries his few possessions in a cloth sack, being poor but content. He is often depicted entertaining or being followed by adoring children. His figure appears throughout Chinese culture as a representation of contentment.His image graces many temples, restaurants, amulets, and businesses.
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