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 While delicately crafted silk kimonos are dismissed as hopelessly outdated by modern Japanese, Western collectors snap them up.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

Japanese Sword - Shingunto With Koto Blade With Nice GroovesJapanese Sword - Samurai Katana, Nagamaki Naoshi Over 500 Years OldJapanese Sword - Koto Bizen Blade Over 400 Years Old In Kyugunto Mounts With MonJust Polished! Fine Engraving!! Gunto Japanese Military Sword Samurai KatanaJapanese Samurai Araoke Family Koto Tanto -boy's Nihonto Sword, Tsuba And KozukaJapanese Antique 19th Century Meiji 1868 - 1912, Japanese Archer & Oni OkimonoGenuine Antique Carved Wooden Signed Japanese Netsuke Meiji Figural Rural No ResFine Polish! Nbthk Certified!! 72.4cm!!! Japanese Katana Sword Masamitsu 正光 SignJapanese Sword - Late Koto Blade In Shingunto Scabbard#8768 Japanese Samurai Edo Antique Beautiful Daito Sword (katana) Koshirae ☆nbthk Certify Special Precious Sword☆ Nagamichi 永道 Sign Japanese Samurai KatanaJapanese Sword - Beautiful Restored Signed Katana Pre-1800Japanese Sword - Beautiful Signed Samurai Sword In Original Samurai MountsBig Japanese Original Naginata Wild Big Hamon Old SwordMeiji Netsuke Of Woman Pouring Tea - Signed (green Inlaid Seal)A Master Piece-netsuke Of A Daruma Awakening From Medidation.signed Muneyuki.edoJapanese Sword - Beautifully Mounted Tanto, Pre-1800Large Antique Japanese Meiji Cloisonne Enamel Charger Dragon 45cm 17 3/4"Antique Japanese Samurai SwordJapanese Vintage Lidded Secret 7 Drawer Tansu Mulberry Wood Haribako Sewing BoxJapan Antiques Edo Good Inlay Karakusa Tsuba Iron Sword Koshirae Kojiri Saya 1 Japan Antiques Edo Good Inlay Karakusa Tsuka Iron Sword Koshirae Kojiri Saya 2 K:japanese Katana Sword,71.5cm Of Nanbokucho W Good Tachi Koshirae19thc Meiji Period Netsuke Of DrummerJapan Antiques Edo Kabuto Katana Zunari Samurai Tsuba Koshirae Tsuka ArmorHiroshi Yoshida Wodblock Print Near Mint Jizuri Waiting For The Tide Pencil SigAntique Japanese Samurai Katana Sword Edo Tsuba Wwii ? Manchurian ?Japanese Shin-gunto Sword - Signed: "nagamitsu" - Army Officer Mounts*1507 Japanese Edo Antique Samurai Katana Fuchi Kashira Lot 12 Pieces SetK:japanese Katana Sword,ichimonji Of Sukemitsu W KoshiraeAntique Japanese Samurai SwordRare Antique 1930's Kawase Hasui Japanese Woodblock Print Snow At TsukishimaRare Vintage Japanese Solid Sterling Silver Miniature Daruma Wish Doll Japan NrFine Antique Japanese Shibayama Carved Wood Bone Frog Incense Tube Box OkimonoK:japanese Katana Sword,kagemori Of Oei Era W KoshiraeSa523 Japanese Samurai Sword: Kanesada Naginata W Saya Project Piece#8759 Japanese Samurai Edo Antique Akikusa Ni Uma Zu Excellent Daito Tsuba Japan Antiques Edo Good Inlay Karakusa Kougai Iron Sword Koshirae Kojiri Saya 3 Japan Antiques Edo Iron Fan Kabutowari Yoroi Weapon Samurai Katana Koshirae6p Finest Vintage Japanese Arts & Crafts Sterling Silver Sake Tea Cup Set W BoxFine Pair Of Antique Japanese Meiji Cloisonné Vases And CoversJapan Antiques Edo Kabuto Jinbaori Katana Samurai Tsuba Koshirae Tsuka ArmorOld Kawase Hasui Japanese Woodcut Woodblock Winter Village Lake First EditionAntique Hand Carved Japanese Netsuke Angry Elephant Naku Dream Catcher*1478 Japanese Samurai Antique Fuchi Kashira Sword Fitting "dragonfly" EdoAntique Japanese Cloisonne Enamel Vase - Golden Pheasant - Silver WiredToshi Yoshida - Japanese Woodblock PrintTsuchiya Koitsu Japanese Woodblock Print Spring Snow At Maruyama Pos. Pre-warAntique Japanese Satsuma Meiji Period Enamel Gold Gilt Porcelain Vase Ginger JarKozuka,sig.raijo(lightning Guard),kiku-crest,bashin,edo,iron/hd230/Japanese Antique 19th Century Early Meiji Period Fine Quality Signed Netsuke,Fine Antique Meiji Japanese Gold Lacquer Five Case Inro & Sneezer Wood NetsukeSa524 Japanese Samurai Sword: Mumei Wakizashi W Saya Project PieceAntique Japanese Cloisonne Enamel Vase - Ota Kichisaburo - 12"h - Ex. ConditionJapanese Antiques Wakizashi Good Fuchi Koshirae Edo Menuki Samurai Katana Japanese Samurai Rusted Antique Sword Blade 51 Cm Or 20" L Signed No Reserve!Fine Antique 19thc Japanese Meiji (1868-1912) Satsuma Lidded Box Kogo, SignedVery Fine Antique Signed Japanese Silver Lantern Form Vesta Case.Fine Antique Japanese Cloisonne Vase Attributed To Namikawa SosukeJapanese Sword Tanto Dagger In Mountings