Miniature sculpture

Netsuke and okimono

The collection contains netsuke and okimono representing two different, albeit similar types of Japanese miniature sculpture. If netsuke were accessories of traditional clothing and were used as a hanging trinket or counterweight on a waist sash, then okimono were standing figurines intended solely to decorate interior. They were distinguished by larger sizes and the absence of cord holes or himotoshi that are mandatory for netsuke. The netsuke art flourished during the Edo period (1615-1868), while okimono had become an independent type of sculpture during the Meiji period (1868-1912) influenced by Western culture. The collection includes several works by Komada Ryushi (Isamu, born 1934), one of the leading contemporary netsuke artist, who headed the International Netsuke Carvers' Association for a long time.