Japan, with its history of seclusion, has long fascinated Westerners. When the country opened up to trade with the West in the mid-1850s, every aspect of Japanese culture—from the buildings and furniture, to the artworks and handcrafts, to the way Japanese people dressed and drank their tea—was endlessly fascinating.

It's no wonder, then, that Japanese antiques are among the most collectible today. Advanced sword-making techniques and romantic notions about the honorable samurai warrior class fuel the popularity of Japanese swords. While delicately crafted silk kimonos are dismissed as hopelessly outdated by modern Japanese, Western collectors snap them up. The elements of sagemono, a system designed to make up for the kimono's lack of pockets, are highly collectible, including the inro boxes attached to obi sashes by cords and the intricately carved fasteners known as netsuke.

For centuries, Japanese artisans have mastered the art of making scroll paintings and screens depicting tigers, Mount Fuji, flowers, Buddhist themes, and calligraphy. The distinctly Japanese style of woodblock prints known as ukiyo-e or the floating world of entertainment and pleasure helped inspire the 19th century Japonisme movement in Europe. Such prints by masters Hokusai (1760-1849) and Hiroshige (1797-1858) have become icons of Japan all over the world. Also widely collected are antique Japanese Imari porcelain, cloisonné, metalwork, Kokeshi dolls, and tea sets.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum

You can get happily lost searching through the 10,000 or so objects on the Asian Art Museum's website. For example,… [read review or visit site]

Gotheborg.com

Gotheborg.com

Jan-Erik Nilsson's extensive reference on antique Chinese porcelain. Jam-packed with information (e.g. on porcelain… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

A Extremely Fine Netsuke Of Japanese Family. Superb Minute Details.meiji Era.Antique Superb Japanese Silver Aikuchi Tanto Yari Blade Meiji N Sword/katanaYr1631 70cm Katana: Tadahiro忠廣 Signed Edo Antique Japanese Samurai Sword19thc Antique Japanese Export Hand Painted Lacquer Box Chest Desk, No Reserve!Yasuhiro康廣 Signed 340yr Edo Antique Japanese Samurai Wakizashi Katana SwordAuthentic Japanese Meiji Period (明治時代, Meiji-jidai) Satsuma Jar Meizan HodotaFine Museum Quality Antique Japanese 19th Century Shishi Signed Netsuke Excellent Quality Large Japanese Meiji Okimono Of A Street Musician With SamisenK294 Japanese Sword Lady's Bridal Tanto, Dagger In MountingsTadayuki忠行 340yr Signed Edo Antique Japanese Samurai O-wakizashi Katana SwordYoshimichi 吉道 Signed Antique Japanese Samurai O-wakizashi Katana SwordSuperb Japanese Imperial Navy Antique Gunto Tanken Sword In Sakura Koshirae C444Japanese Wwll Army Officer's Sword In Combat Mountings, Gendaito "kanemasa"Antique Japanese Netsuke Figuring A Samurai With A DemonAttest Papered 575yr Yoshinori備前吉則 Japanese Samurai Wakizashi Katana SwordNbthk Attests 570yr Nio Kiyosada二王清貞 Japanese Samurai Wakizashi Katana SwordVintage Japanese Signed Netsuke Okimono - Man & ChildAntique Early 20thc Japanese Cloisonne Bird & Butterfly Enamel Charger PlateOrig Wwii Bring Back Japanese Samurai Sword With Small Side Knife - Gold InlayNbthk Papered 370yr Yoshimasa吉政 Edo Japanese Samurai Wakizashi Katana SwordJapanese Big Carved Meiji Period Antique Okimono Farmer And Child StatueJapanese Sterling Tea Set Kuhn Komor Meiji Nbthk Attest 440yr Muromachi坂倉関 Antique Japanese Samurai Wakizashi Katana Sword**huge Japanese Cloisonne Purple White Wisteria Blue Vase 18” Wow**D4272 Ajtd Japanese Antiques Fine Quality Cloisonne Vase Ando Namikawa ShippoY73 Japanese Sword Wakizashi In Aikuchi Mountings "oei Bizen", MintEn0229yjwd Japanese Woodblock Print Yoshida Hiroshi Night Restaurant Large Superb Meiji Japanese Cloisonne Vase, Dark Blue Ground W/ Iris, 31.5 Cm.Y76 Japanese Sword Wakizashi In Mountings "kanesada"Orig Vtg Signed Stamped Shotei Hiroaki Woodblock Print Lightning RainstormSuperb Japanese Edo 18-19th C Antique Makie Inro W Coral Ojime Netsuke C454Japanese Antique Big Zushi Buddhist Statue Mask Temple Gold Foil Leaves Antique 19thc Japanese Woodblock Print, Hiroshige Ando Farmers Rice Field, NrJapanese Makuri,honshi "man And Woman Under Moon" @s713Superb Japanese Vintage Articulated Shrimp Model Signed Jizai-okimono C282Signed Stamped Takahashi Hiroaki Shotei Orig Vtg Woodblock Print FireworksEn0120rjsw Japanese Woodblock Print In Frame Clifton Karhu Shimotachiuri 48/100K288 Japanese Wwll Naval Tanto, Dirk, Sword In Kaiguntanken Mountings Large Japanese Meiji Okimono Of A Street Musician Antique Huge Japanese Netsuke Figuring A Lying Man With A MonkeyFine Japanese Edo 18-19th C Antique Kozuka & Signed Kogatana Sword "kirimon"Fine Japanese Edo Period 18-19th C Antique Wakizashi Koshirae Tsuba Menuki C476Exceptional Quality Meiji Japanese Cloisonne Enamel Koro W/ Flowerhead Finial En0028tlbb Japanese Woodblock Print In Frame Clifton Karhu Spring Rain (big)Pair Fine Antique Japanese 19th Century Meiji Satsuma Vases - Shimazu HayakawaAntique Japanese Signed Netsuke Figuring A OniJapanese Cloisonne Vase Ota Tamashiro En0221rjsw Japanese Woodblock Print Kawase Hasui Rainy Night At Maekawa Fine Quality Antique Okimono, Japanese Woodcutter,signed#685 600 Yr Japanese Sword Super Long Spear Yari Carving "fujiwara 藤原"mint KatanOriginal 1950s Vintage Japanese Sukajan Souvenir Reversible Bomber Jacket Superb Quality Antique Meiji Japanese Silver Single Cased Inro Inkwell Snuff EtcSuperb Japanese Edo 19th Century Samurai Antique Gold Inlaid Tsuba "peony" C510#687 400 Yr Japanese Sword Wakizashi Hamon Beautiful Mint Very Wide Katana SamurAntique Carved Boxwood Netsuke Of A Monkey & Young, Fine Quality, Meiji. 19th C.En0157jasw Japanese Woodblock Print Kawase Hasui Snow At Kiyomizudera Temple Japanese Various Lot 20 Buddhist Mini Buddha Statue Amida Nyorai Kannon Bosatsu *koto* Wwii Japanese Officers Samurai Sword Nihonto Shin Gunto WakizashiJapanese Carved Meiji Period Antique Okimono Fishing StatueFine Japanese Edo Period 18-19th Century Samurai Antique Menuki "tigers" C508