Not currently on display at the V&A

Netsuke

ca. 1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The netsuke is a form of toggle used to hold a small box to the sash worn with the traditional Japanese kimono. It became an expressive medium for carvers, who adapted all sorts of designs, frequently incorporating humour, into this small format. This netsuke in boxwood, with earrings of ivory, shows Daruma during his legendary nine years of meditation. His expression appears to be one of bored resignation to his ordeal. During his meditation Daruma allegedly lost the use of his legs, and in some versions of the story actually cuts off his eyelids to prevent himself falling asleep.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved and stained wood, with ivory details
Brief Description
Figure of a seated Daruma, carved wood and ivory, Japanese, 19th century; Woo, Japan, dress accessories, wood
Physical Description
The netsuke is a form of toggle used to retain a small box (inro) to the sash worn with the traditional Japanese kimono. It became an expressive medium for carvers who adapted all sorts of designs, frequently incorporating humour, into this small format. This netsuke in boxwood, with earrings of ivory, shows Daruma during his legendary nine year meditation. His expression appears to be one of bored resignation to his ordeal!
Dimensions
  • Height: 3.8cm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
Shumin (Japanese)
Summary
The netsuke is a form of toggle used to hold a small box to the sash worn with the traditional Japanese kimono. It became an expressive medium for carvers, who adapted all sorts of designs, frequently incorporating humour, into this small format. This netsuke in boxwood, with earrings of ivory, shows Daruma during his legendary nine years of meditation. His expression appears to be one of bored resignation to his ordeal. During his meditation Daruma allegedly lost the use of his legs, and in some versions of the story actually cuts off his eyelids to prevent himself falling asleep.
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.27-1918

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record createdFebruary 21, 2003
Record URL