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 While delicately crafted silk kimonos are dismissed as hopelessly outdated by modern Japanese, Western collectors snap them up.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    

Antique Samurai Japanese Lacquer Kabuto Helmet Nr For Sword Collector Antique Samurai Japanese Lacquer Edo Kabuto Helmet And Mask Nr 4 Sword CollectorAntique Samurai Japanese Lacquer Mempo Mask For Helmet Nr For Sword Collector Eu-3 Japanese Sword, Jumonji Yari Spear In Mountings "daido"Antique Samurai Japanese Lacquer Mempo Mask For Helmet Nr For Sword Collector Japanese Antique 19th Cent Meiji Fine Quality Cow Bone Sumo Wrestlers Netsuke,*shinto* Wwii Japanese Officers Samurai Sword Tanto Nihonto Ww2 Shin Gunto *15 Japanese Sword Wakizashi In Mountings, "ienaga" Japanese Antique 19th Cent Meiji Fine Quality Cow Bone Signed Netsuke 8 Puppys,Antique 19thc Japanese Gold Gilt Faceted Satsuma Pottery, Tea Caddy W/ ImmortalsOriginal Rare Antique 17th Century Signed Japanese Samurai Sword KatanaAntique Japanese Katana Samurai Sword Signed Blade Mei Tsuba Koshirae W/sayaSigned Japanese Officer's 1944 Gunto Sword Samurai Katana Tanto Dagger 19c. Japanese Carved Black Lacquer Zushi Traveling Shrine Buddhist Buddha FigureD3654 Cstm Japanese Good Inlay Samurai Fuchi Kashira Like SotenSa260 Japanese Samurai Sword: Spear Sankaku Yari Project PieceSa259 Japanese Samurai Sword: Spear Sasaho Yari Blade19thc Antique Signed Japanese Bronze Vase W/ Applied Crabs, No Reserve!Antique Signed Bone Japanese Okimono Carving Figure Lady Dancing Carved GeishaHj12 Japanese Samurai Sword: Bizen Osafune Sukesada Wakizashi In ShirasayaPr Antique Japanese Bronze Meiji Period Cabinet Vases W Cherry Blossom Birds Ahb1800's Tokugawa Shogunate Samurai Sword No ReserveHj10 Japanese Samurai Sword: Mumei Tanto In ShirasayaJapanese Vintage 5 Drawer Lidded Top Section Tansu Sewing Haribako Maple BurlJapanese Sword / Ww2 / Navy Kaigunto /tenshozan ForgeAntique Japanese 140 Year Old 3 Drawer Ko-dansu Chest Forged Iron Handles TansuHiroshi Yoshida Signed 1930's Japanese Modernist Woodblock Print 15"x10" NrNo Reserve World War Ii Japanese Army Officer Sword Kawamura Masanobue Fine 8" Antique Carved Cow Bone Japanese Okimono Men In Tree Meiji Signed NrVintage Japanese Ginbari Vase Pair DragonsToshi Yoshida Japanese Woodblock Print Morning View Of Mt. Fuji From Ohito 1983Early Japanese Wakizashi Signed Sukesada, In Ww2 MountsSuperb Fine Japanese Antique Cloisonne Silverwire Vase - No Reserve !Sa262 Japanese Samurai Sword: Bizen Osafune Norimitsu Wakizashi Project BladeVintage Japanese Wood Block Kawase Hasui Spring Evening At Inokashira Night 6mm D3652 Ctsw Japanese Samurai Edo Naoharu Marked Lion Menuki Katana Koshirae DaitoToshi Yoshida Japanese Woodblock Print Bamboo Garden 1954Toshi Yoshida Japanese Woodblock Print Mt. Fuji In Autumn From Ohito 1983Sa257 Japanese Samurai Sword: Soshu Masahiro Wakizashi In Koshirae Project PieceAntique Japanese 19th 20th Century Carved Cow Bone Netsuke Monkey Octopus Fine Quality Japanese 19th Century Meiji Period Kinkozan Sobei Rooster Vase#7883 Japanese Samurai Edo Antique Kumo Ni Tsuki Zu Beautiful Signed MenukiJapan Antiques Edo Katana Tsuba Menuki Parts Lot Samurai Sword Fuchik Kashira 3Sa266 Japanese Samurai Sword: Four Tanto Project BladesJapan Antiques Edo Katana Tsuba Menuki Parts Lot Samurai Sword Fuchik Kashira 1Japanese Sterling Silver Flask Bottle Meiji Large Antique 19thc Oriental Japanese Kyoto Satsuma Floor Vase Samurai Meiji 18" F718: Real Katana, Japanese Samurai Short Sword Tanto With Lacquered Koshirae7km Japanese Edo Samurai "abumi" Pair Stirrup Horse Riding Bagu Uma Family CrestOrig Japanese Woodblock Print Book Butterflies, Bugs & Blossoms Meiji 43Japanese Vintage Furisode Kimono Rinzu Silk Pine Tree Maple Mums 8196Antique Carved Wood & Hand Painted Japanese Meiji Period Noh Mask No ReserveToshi Yoshida - Japanese Woodblock Print Ishiyama Temple 1946Sa267 Japanese Samurai Sword: Two Wakizashi Project Blades6nk Japanese Vintage Large Chouchin Paper Lantern Toro Lamp Candle 79cm 31" LongFine Antique Japanese Satsuma Vase, Cir. 1868-1912 From H. Chandler's Estate *koto* Wwii Japanese Officers Samurai Sword Nihonto Wakizashi Ww2 Shin Gunto Sa253 Japanese Samurai Sword: Kanetaka Wakizashi In Shirasaya Project PieceSa258 Japanese Samurai Sword: Kanefusa Wakizashi In Koshirae Project Piece50290# Japanese Kimono / Antique Furisode / Embroidery