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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.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
References in periodicals archive ?
The Japanese netsuke refers to the small, carved toggles-usually wood or ivory-that are used to secure small personal pouches to one's kimono.
Somehow these meticulous recreations of flora and fauna evoke the katabori netsuke tradition, albeit in their own way with precious metals (rose, yellow or blackened gold, bronze, oxidized silver) and gems (including rose- and round-cut diamonds, sapphires, opals, emeralds and rubies)."
Roell's eclectic display of decorative and fine arts this year includes a number of important historical maps, while his guest exhibitors are Max Rutherston, the London-based expert in Japanese netsuke ornaments, and Dolf D.
Japanese Embassy and Japan Foundation held an exhibition entitled "NETSUKE: Contemporary Wood-Carved Craft" at the Embassy Hall, Panipokhari, Kathmandu.
He gave an account of his family's netsuke collection which survived Nazi looting, and which he has very recently parted with, some pieces being sent on long-term loan to the Jewish Museum in Vienna and the rest sold in aid of a charity supporting refugees.
(2008): "Non-destructive investigation of Netsuke, Japanese miniature sculptures, by Micro Raman spectroscopy".
JAPANESE NETSUKE. Many cultures have a tradition of small carvings, statues, or amulets used in daily or religious life.
Antique ivory Japanese netsuke. Image Credit: Supplied NYT
A few other artifacts scanned by the museum included a bust of Greek god Zeus, Japanese netsuke figures and a statue of Ramesses II.
Dressed To Impress: Netsuke And Japanese Men's Fashion Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat & Sun 12noon-5pm, ends May 21, PS1.50, child/concs 75p, family PS3.50, OAP 75p.
the long teeth of elephants carved into trinkets & netsuke,
I decided to delve into the history of these sculptures and also the small Netsuke pronounced (Net-Ski) .