Meiji Era Japanese Collectible
Since traditional Japanese kimono had no pockets, netsuke (NET-skay) were used as toggles from which pouches were hung. Many were simple shapes, merely functional, but many took the form of elaborately carved deities, legendary heroes, and zodiac animals. These small exquisite figures were extremely popular with American and European collectors during the Meiji era (1868-1912), and patrons of the Peabody Essex Museum donated more than 500 to the collection. These polymer resin netsuke are reproductions of carved originals in PEM's Japanese art collection.