Fascinating microcosm of exquisite sculpture
Netsuke objects are petite sculptures that were tied to the cords on small boxes and pouches carrying things like seals and tobacco that had to be hung from the sashes of “pocketless” robes. By providing a container with a netsuke as a toggle, it becomes more secure on the sash, helping to prevent loss or theft. Thus, from long ago, people have kept these tiny trinkets about them as useful fashion statements. Designs are unique and carved in various materials like ivory, bull horn, boxwood, amber and metal.
With a collection of 5,000 pieces, this is the first museum in Japan to dedicate its theme to netsuke figurines, which span classical netsuke from the Edo period through to modern ones. Exhibits cover two floors and the contemporary works are grouped by the netsuke sculptors who made them.
Besides wonderful exhibits, the museum is noted as an Important Kyoto Cultural Property that started life in 1820 as a samurai villa of the Kanzaki family. The building still features its dignified shoin-zukuri architecture, making a visit an artistic and architectural treat.
* Address: 46-1 Mibukayougosho-cho, Nakagyo-ku
* Tel.: +81-(0)75-802-7000
* Fax.: +81-(0)75-802-7001
* Access: A 10-min walk from Hankyu Omiya Stn/A 10-min walk from Randen Shijo-Omiya Stn/A 2-min walk from Mibudera-michi Stop of City Bus
* Hours: 10:00~17:00 (entry by 16:30)
* Closed: Mon (following day if Nat Hol), 13/8-16/8, 29/12-5/1 ※Hours and closed days may vary
* Adm: Adults ¥1,000, Elementary to high school students ¥500
* Website: https://www.netsukekan.jp/en/