Netsuke-tiny, exquisitely carved globes or clasps used to secure pouches to the kimono-have long been an obsession for collectors in the West as well as in the East. They depict a wide variety of figures and cultural icons, from marketplace tradesmen to otherworldly beings to revered animals of the Chinese zodiac; representations of the decidedly domestic to the frankly erotic. Unlike earlier books on the subject, Netsuke: Fantasy and Reality in Japanese Miniature Sculpture examines the pieces in the context of Japanese life, detailing the origins of the designs and themes that were carried down through the centuries, evolving and changing over time. Lavishly illustrated with over 500 color photographs, Netsuke is the definitive work on these remarkably minute, endlessly intricate objects.
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The degree to which some netsuke have been lovingly handled suggests they were played with as much as worn...“executive toys.” -- The Boston Phoenix, December 7, 2001 –Jeffrey Gantz
They [Netsuke] are first and foremost very large and quite brash status symbols. -- Christian Science Monitor, November 9, 2001 – Lisa Leigh Parney
...netsuke...demonstrate a man’s fashion sense, including awareness of foreign style and manner....In all, this is an elegant and insightful book. -- The Art Newspaper, December 2001 –Timon Screech
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