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Dressed to Impress: Netsuke and Japanese Men's Fashion

  • Friday, December 09, 2016
  • (EST)
  • Tuesday, March 21, 2017
  • (EDT)
  • British Museum, Japan Gallery

A British Museum exhibition featuring a selection of delightfully detailed netsuke and other traditional Japanese male dress accessories.

Netsuke is the Japanese art of miniature sculpture. Originally a practical piece of dress, during the Edo Period (1615-1868 CE) these carvings evolved into an important art form in Japan.

Museums often display netsuke as works of art, acknowledging the great skill used in their creation in wood, ivory, ceramic or metal. This exhibition shows how they were worn as part of a complete outfit. For this reason, in addition to displaying a group of some of the British Museum’s finest netsuke, the exhibition also includes a sword, smoking accessories and inro (cases for holding small objects).

Featured alongside the British Museum objects are a selection of netsuke and other accessories from the Oriental Museum’s own collection, together with woodblock prints relating to Japanese men’s fashion.

This exhibition was developed in partnership with the British Museum, and is generously supported by the Dorset Foundation.

Image: Goldfish netsuke, early 1800s © Trustees of the British Museum

Read more about the exhibit on their blog: 


The International Netsuke Society is vehemently opposed to the trafficking, trade or commerce of illegal ivory, horn or any other illegal material. We support and comply with all international laws and regulations, including but not limited to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the Endangered Species Act, and the African Elephant Conservation Act.