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  • Place of origin:

    Japan (made)

  • Date:

    18th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Tadatoshi (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved wood

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Edmond Dresden Esq.

  • 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.
From the 18th century onwards, many more makers signed their netsukes. This example is signed Tadatoshi. This netsuke illustrates a Shojo, mythical creatures with long red hair and a love of drinking sake (rice-wine). Netsuke artists often depicted Shojo as either asleep or in the midst of drinking from very large sake cups.

Physical description

Netsuke in wood of a Shojo, signed Tadatoshi

Place of Origin

Japan (made)


18th century (made)


Tadatoshi (made)

Materials and Techniques

Carved wood

Marks and inscriptions

Signed Tadatoshi


Length: 2.8 cm, Diameter: 4.1 cm

Descriptive line

Netsuke, wood, Shojo, signed Tadatoshi, 18th century, Japan





Subjects depicted





East Asia Collection

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