Hirmer

Japan in Miniature: A Gift of Inro, Ojime and Netsuke

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An inro is a traditional Japanese case made to hang from the sash of a kimono to hold identity seals and medicine. Consisting of a stack of tiny, nested boxes, the inro is suspended from the waist with the help of a netsuke, an ornamental button, and is held together with an ojime, a bead to fasten the boxes together. Inro were made of a variety of materials, including wood, ivory, and bone, and were beautifully decorated with lacquer. This glittering volume presents a private collection of inro, ojime, and netsuke that were donated to the Museum for Lacquer Art in 2017. These small ornamental objects present enchanting scenes of plants, animals, literary characters, historical scenes, and famous landscapes — thus presenting an image of Japan in miniature.
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