Netsuke, an art form unique to Japan

  • Liang Yi Museum 181-199 Hollywood Road Sheung Wan Hong Kong

Asia Week Hong Kong and Liang Yi museum presents

'Netsuke, an art form unique to Japan'

by Robert Fleischel - Sagemonoya, Tokyo, Japan

Netsuke are small carvings used as stoppers to prevent items hanging from the Obi (sash) of the Japanese traditional Kimono from falling down. These miniature carvings are highly appreciated by collectors all over the world, including China.

Mr Fleischel will explain the very reason of the existence of Netsuke and their history. This will be followed by a description of the different forms of Netsuke, as well as the various material used to carve them and the various styles and schools of Netsuke and show some examples of Netsuke carved by the most famous artists. This will also cover the infinite subjects found in Netsuke and their origin, sometimes inspired by Chinese legends. 

Since Netsuke would not exist without Sagemono (the objects for which the Netsuke were conceived) it is essential to talk also about them, namely Inro (medicine containers), Yatate (brush and ink containers), Kiseruzutsu and Kiseru (pipe cases and pipes) as well as other objects related to the Kimono Obi (sash).

About the speaker

Robert Fleischel is a French citizen living in Japan, has been collecting Netsuke for many years before opening SAGEMONOYA in Tokyo 25 years ago. Since then, SAGEMONOYA is still the only art gallery in Japan specializing in antique Netsuke and Sagemono.

SAGEMONOYA counts members of the Japanese Imperial Family and several museums among their regular customers.

Robert Fleischel is also the Chairman of the Japan Chapter of the International Society, and has given many lectures about Netsuke in Japan and abroad.

“Mr. Robert Fleischel is undoubtedly one of the most influential people in Japan concerning netsuke and sagemono, not only as an excellent dealer but also as the chapter president in Japan of the International Netsuke Society. He has this special nature -- the most important one for a dealer -- of having a precise insight into the taste of his customer. He always comes back from a trip with a piece that I cannot resist ..."

H.I.H. Prince Takamado

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