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Netsuke - Creative Miniature Sculpting

Jun 26, 2008
Traditionally, these toggle forms of latches were made of cords with sliding types of beads to keep from loosing the personal belongings. These fastening forms of beads were eventually toggles hand-crafted into many different types of artistic expression.

There are nine different forms of netsuke known as "Katabori or sculpture netsuke", "Anabori or hollowed netsuke", "Sashi or stab netsuke", "Obi-hasami sashi or elongated netsuke", "Men or mask netsuke", "Manju netsuke", "Ryusa netsuke", "Kagamibuta or mirror lid netsuke", and Karakuri or mechanism netsuke".

The most original types of Netsuke miniature sculptures were made of hard kinds of wood or different kinds of ivories. Although elephant ivory has long been band, mammoth ivory netsuke is most often the kind of ivory used in the making of today's netsuke pieces.

Since the traditional Japanese clothing of the Kimono did not have the convenience of pockets, there were the creative means of various sized woven or clothe boxes and pouches. These different types of carrying devices were traditionally worn around the waste for being able to carry a few of the small personal belongs that would be desired to conveniently have with them throughout the day.

Along with important items like money seals or medicines, there were often also things like tobacco and tobacco pipes or any other desired types of personal needs. Upon these carrying devices, there would be the need for holding in the personal items by a string and a small toggle. Traditionally, these toggle forms of latches were made of cords with sliding types of beads to keep from loosing the personal belongings. These fastening forms of beads were eventually toggles hand-crafted into many different types of artistic expression.

These individually artistically handcrafted pieces are what are known as netsuke. Even though netsuke was originally known as purely useful and needed, they soon became one of the most freely expressive forms of art during a time period of a rigid Empire that did not condone most any types of expressively open freedoms. With such a culturally rigid world order of very little to no freedoms, these forms of so many different kinds of netsuke were seemingly exempt from most of the expressive omens during the Emperor's rule.

As the popularity of netsuke quickly grew, so did the different formations and styles of netsuke pieces themselves. There are nine different forms of netsuke known as "Katabori or sculpture netsuke", "Anabori or hollowed netsuke", "Sashi or stab netsuke", "Obi-hasami sashi or elongated netsuke", "Men or mask netsuke", "Manju netsuke", "Ryusa netsuke", "Kagamibuta or mirror lid netsuke", and Karakuri or mechanism netsuke".

The most original types of Netsuke miniature sculptures were made of hard kinds of wood or different kinds of ivories. Although elephant ivory has long been band, mammoth ivory netsuke is most often the kind of ivory used in the making of today's netsuke pieces. There are also many other kinds of material types too that today and yesterday's netsuke may be made from, including clay, porcelain, agate and even bamboo.
About the Author
Anita Satin Choudhary writes for Ivory and Art Gallery. Browse the gallery for unique collection of artifacts ranging from Netsuke to Silver Judaica and Bronze Sculpture
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