At you can find and purchase a variety of Netsuke. Netsuke are miniature sculptures which originally had a functional purpose but later on became a form of fine art, a specimen of craftsmanship and a signature piece of japanese culture.


At you can find a variety of netsuke created from different materials and depicting a variety of subjects and themes. Most common are ivory netsuke and wooden netsuke.


Materials Used


Ivory – the most common material used before ivory from live animals became illegal. Netsuke made from mammoth ivory fill part of the tourist trade demand today.
Wood – popular materials in Edo Japan and still used today
Hippopotamus tooth – used in lieu of ivory today
Rhinoceros horn


A type of netsuke worth mentioning alongside ivory and wooden netsuke are Walnut netsuke.

The nuts used are tagua nut: the nut from the ivory palm and walnut.


Subjects of Netsuke you can find at

Whether ivory, wooden netsuke or crafted from other materials, netsuke reflect the culture and the type of the society that produced them. Netsuke exhibit every aspect of Japanese culture, such as folklore, religion, crafts, trades as well as professions. Wooden netsuke can be found that depict all types of people and creatures inspired by both real and imaginary characters and every kind of object.


These include:


People; whether famous or anonymous, contemporary or historical, real or fictitious, children or warriors anyone could be carved into a wooden netsuke.
Craft; all trades and professions were often depicted on netsuke, examples of these are huntsmen, fishermen, woodcutters or merchants.
Animals; the animals depicted could be the zodiac animals or real ones. The most traditional netsuke style are those featuring octopus figures. These octopi will usually be found embracing beautiful women.
Plants and other; beans or chestnuts, are often carved actual size.
Deities and mythical creatures; these often derive from Chinese mythology and religion. Other common deity carvings on wooden netsuke include the Seven Lucky Gods.

Inanimate objects; these include coins, and tools.
Abstract; these include mon patterns and other designs
Sexual known as shunga netsuke may depict a male and female in sexual conjugation or may contain only subtle or symbolic sexual references.