The British Museum’s Noriko Tsuchiya compiles an intricate selection of netsuke, a prized Edo Period (1603-1867) art form of miniature sculptures. Her book contains 100 photographs, paired with color illustrations to contrast composition and artistic expression.

Netsuke, by Noriko Tsuchiya.
The British Museum, Art book.

Tsuchiya makes the reader question how these carvings were once considered mere objects of personal accessory. Through their variety of forms — human, ghosts, masks and animals — each tells a significant story of Japanese culture and society. “Netsuke” offers a new perspective on the carvings: They transform from their practical use and become a lasting impression of the Edo Period. All of the netsuke included are from the British Museum collection, tempting us to take a look in person.

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