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n. pl. netsuke or net·su·kes
A small toggle, often in the form of a carved ivory or wood figure, used to secure a purse or container suspended on a cord from the sash of a kimono.
(Antiques) (in Japan) a carved toggle, esp of wood or ivory, originally used to tether a medicine box, purse, etc, worn dangling from the waist
[C19: from Japanese]
ne•tsu•ke(ˈnɛt ski, -skeɪ; Japn. ˈnɛ tsʊˈkɛ)
n., pl. -ke, -kes.
(in Japanese art) a small carved figure, orig. used as a buttonlike fixture on a man's sash.
[1880–85; < Japanese, =ne root + tsuke attach]
Small Japanese figures (predominantly animals) usually carved from ivory and used to decorate belts, purses, tobacco pouches, etc. Highly collectable, these miniature works of sixteenth-century art are said to acquire an “aura” the more they are handled.