Rus Articles Journal

Netsuke. Souvenir products or work of arts?

you never thought of the fact that at you in pockets? You will tell, flat keys where money lies? Yes, keys. And on keys that? That that - a charm, you will tell and you will not be mistaken. Exactly! Charm! You reflected, sometime, and how all these elephants, doggies and other spillikins were born?

And they came to us from Japan and were called - the NETSUKE.

The netsuke is the small carved figure made generally of an ivory or valuable breeds of a tree. Japanese used a netsuke, for association of fixture of keys, fastening of a purse to a kimono belt, or as minidecoration of clothes. Netsukes were divided by typology and a form, and in certain cases even served as a peculiar charm.

In Japan the first netsukes appeared in the second half of XVI - the beginning of the 17th century. From the moment of the emergence the traditional Japanese kimono had no pockets, but there was a constant requirement to carry with itself keys, drugs, money and many other things. Special wattled boxes (peculiar marching bags) were for this purpose thought up which were called - inro. Inro, fastened to a kimono belt by means of a cord. It was connected in a ring, put in half and passed through a belt. By one of the ends of the turned-out loop netsukes fixed. The knot of a cord was hidden in one of two openings of the netsuke connected by the through valve. Thus, the netsuke served as at the same time peculiar counterbalance and graceful decoration of clothes.

Brelki - counterbalances like a netsuke were used not only in Japan, but also in Hungary, on Far North and in Ethiopia. It means that the netsuke or the Japanese invention, or was borrowed by them. It is for certain known that else in the period of Min (1368-1644) Chinese called such objects Zhui - Zi or Pei - feel. By this time Japanese had strong traditions of loan of various elements of spiritual and material culture at Chinese including clothes. Communication of a netsuke with their Chinese prototype is obvious. But soon in Japan on a basis Zhui - Zi developed original forms of a netsuke and receptions of their carving. New subject lines were entered and old are rethought. In Japan the netsuke turned into independent and advanced art what you will not tell about Zhui - Zi.

At this time in Japan there are whole schools of carvers differing in style and favourite subjects. For example, the figures executed in style of an ittobora were characteristic of Hid or Nar`s schools. It when the netsuke becomes by means of one knife, without careful study of fine details. The largest schools of carvers develop in the cities of Osaka and Kyoto. Even in the province sometimes there are original currents which founder quite often is one talented master.

Today netsukes are made and presently. But in the majority it is rather low-grade souvenir products which are turned out in the conveyor way. The practical need for a netsuke disappeared as the Japanese kimono was forced out by the European clothes. Also the relation of carvers to the netsukes created by them changed. Now it is considered as quite independent work of art isolated and from the customer, fashion, and is frequent also from tradition of this or that school. Some works are highly appreciated very from 10. 000 to 100. 000 and more. The prices of collection netsukes fluctuate usually from several hundred to thousands of dollars.