Japanese jewelry art: inro and netsuke

Japanese jewelry art: inro and netsuke

30 June 2022, 11:00
A source: © ru.wikipedia.org
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The Japanese nation is characterized not only by refined taste and refined aesthetics, but also by pragmatism. These national qualities were embodied both in household items and in traditional costume.

The roots of Japanese culture go deep into Buddhism, which glorified minimalism in all areas of life. By the standards of Europeans, the Japanese owned a modest amount of things, but what! Some of them were objects of high art and examples of jewelry craftsmanship. And it is quite natural that often such objects became exhibits of museum and private collections. Inro is one of them.

This is an elegant product of miniature size, designed to store small items. Inro was part of the secular costume for both men and women. But only those who belonged to high society: wealthy citizens, samurai and representatives of the aristocracy.

Inro first saw the light in the 16th century. Initially, they consisted of only one compartment, because they were used only for storing ink and personal seals.

Photo © ru.wikipedia.org


Inro was created mainly in the form of a rectangle with streamlined corners. But figured products also met. For example, those that imitated animals.

After some time, inro transformed into a mobile first-aid kit. Several separate sections were convenient for storing medicinal powders and fragrant herbs.

Inro was equipped with a silk cord, which was threaded through special holes (himotoshi). The inro was attached to the belt (obi) with the help of a netsuke located at the opposite end of the cord.

The craftsmen approached the decoration of netsuke with particular enthusiasm. Some products were considered real masterpieces. The price for luxurious creations was appropriate.

Most often, inro was made of wood. But materials such as ivory, metal, bamboo and leather were also in demand. The subjects of artistic painting were amazing: creatures from the depths of the sea, dragons, hieroglyphs, floral ornaments, landscapes, everyday scenes, fantastic animals, literary heroes.

Photo © ru.wikipedia.org


Often craftsmen applied mother-of-pearl, gold and silver plating on inro and netsuke, and also inlaid with precious stones. In this way, inro turned into real jewelry.

In the "Jewellery" section, Violiti has collected for you the best examples of jewelry craftsmanship that will become a worthy addition to the collection of connoisseurs of beauty.

Photo © ru.wikipedia.org

Photo © ru.wikipedia.org

Photo © ru.wikipedia.org

Photo © ru.wikipedia.org

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