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  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    18th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved wood

  • Credit Line:

    Murray Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The netsuke is a toggle. Japanese men used netsuke to suspend various pouches and containers from their sashes by a silk cord. Netsuke had to be small and not too heavy, yet bulky enough to do the job. They needed to be compact with no sharp protruding edges, yet also strong and hardwearing. Above all they had to have the means of attaching the cord. In this example, there are a pair of holes (himotoshi) on the bottom of the sandal. Although netsuke were made in a variety of forms, the most widely appreciated is the katabori (shape carving). This is a three-dimensional carving, such as this netsuke.
This is a comical and humorous depiction of a dancer with a rotund form and splayed legs in the midst of jumping. The exertion is clearly expressed on the man's face. The staining adds depth to the carved features of the figure.

Physical description

Netsuke in wood of a dancer

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


18th century (made)


Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Carved wood


Height: 3.18 cm, Width: 5.08 cm

Descriptive line

netsuke, wood, dancer, 18th century, Japan








East Asia Collection

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