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Title: Netsuke - Your Label 2010

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Netsuke - Your Label 2010

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This image is to be used as a resource for the Your Label 2010 Fashion Design Competition, in partnership with the V&A.

This netsuke is part of the V&A’s Japanese Collection. It is made of carved and stained ivory and dates back to the 18th Century. The netsuke is a toggle which Japanese men used to suspend various pouches and containers from their sashes by a silk cord.

Netsuke were made in a variety of forms, the most widely appreciated being the katabori (shape carving), a three-dimensional carving, such as this one in the form of Ashinaga (Long Legs) and Tenaga (Long Arms) holding a fish. During the early 17th century when katabori netsuke were first made, Chinese influence was strong.

Through Japanese contact with China at this time, Chinese carvings reached Japan and played a crucial role in the development of netsuke. Ivory was subsequently one of the most important and widely used materials for the manufacture of netsuke, as with this example.

Image copyright is held by the V&A.

View more images from the V&A Japanese collection

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