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 While delicately crafted silk kimonos are dismissed as hopelessly outdated by modern Japanese, Western collectors snap them up.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

Fine Japanese Carved Netsuke Monk & Fan Meiji - SignedGreat Antique C1890 Japanese Meiji Bronze Figure Of A Crab Scroll PaperweightAntique Early 19thc Utagawa Kunisada, Toyokuni Iii Japanese Woodblock Print, NrVery Fine Antique Japanese Meiji Mixed Metal Silver Bronze Vase SignedSumo Wrestler Netsuke Carved Antique Samurai Katana Signed Koto Period SwordNetsuke Like Figure Carved GeishaImao Keinen Shugacho Vol.2 Japanese Woodblock Print Book Flower Painting ManualJapanese Antique Hand Painted Gold Makie Red Lacquer Lidded Bowls Antique Early Edo Period Japanese Samurai Katana Sword Copper Sunburst TsubaAntique Japanese Samurai Sword Antique Kozuka Signed BladeAntique Japanese Katana/samurai Sword And Scabbard Excellent Condition.28650# Japanese Wall Scroll / Hand Painted / Kabuto (samurai Helmet) H665: Japanese Kyo-yaki Pottery Bowl By Tosai Sawamura With Signed Box 28505# Japanese Kimono / Vintage Hanhaba Obi / Woven Shippo28489# Japanese Handicrafts / New! Patterned Waribashi (disporsable Chopsticks) 28488# Japanese Handicrafts / New! Patterned Waribashi (disporsable Chopsticks) 28506# Japanese Kimono / Vintage Hanhaba Obi / Woven Shippo28485# Japanese Handicrafts / New! Patterned Waribashi (disporsable Chopsticks) 28487# Japanese Handicrafts / New! Patterned Waribashi (disporsable Chopsticks) 28491# Japanese Kimono / New! Pouch / Flower Vintage Ww2 Japanese 50 Sen Coin Chrysanthemum Cherry Blossoms 1947Vintage Ww2 Japanese 5 Sen Coin Chrysanthemum Eagle Dai Nippon 1940Ss04z30 Vintage Japanese Kimono Silk Fabric Black Shibori Dyeing 26" Shiba Inu Dog ~ The Cute Loyal Breed From Japan ~ Zipper PouchFashion Folding Fan Delicate Japanese Plum Blossom Design Silk Costume Party CJapanese Samurai Sanada Yukimura Helmet Display #1 Warrior Of JapanChie No Wa Japanese Antique Woodblock Print Text Book Primary Education LanguageFashion Folding Fan Delicate Japanese Plum Blossom Design Silk Costume Part NewWw2 Gendaito Tanto Yasukuni Shrine Yasunobu 1942 Japanese Samurai Sword TsubaE6 Japanese Sword Wakizashi In Mountings "okisato Nyudo Kotetsu" Sturdy & Splendid Gunto Japanese Military Sword By Toshihide敏秀 Samurai Katana*koto* Wwii Japanese Officers Samurai Sword Nihonto Ww2 Shin Gunto Katana TachiWakizashi Antique Japanese Sword Signed Nobuyoshi Edo W/ Wwii Navy Gunto KoshiraE5 Japanese Wwll Army Officer's Sword In Mountings "yasuyo", Ichiyo-aoi Mon1-20 Hokusai Fugaku Japanese Ukiyoe Woodblock Print 3 Book SJapanese Temple Bell Bronze Buddhist Mid 1700' - Early 1800's VideoNorihiro則廣 In Art Mountings: 340yr Edo Japanese Samurai Wakizashi Katana SwordExceptional Large Japanese Meiji Gilt Bronze Lacquered Buddha Temple ShrineElegant Shape Kiyomitsu清光 500yr Japanese Samurai Long O-wakizashi Katana SwordY113 Japanese Sword Wakizashi In Mountings "soshu Akihiro"#1027 700yr "uda Kunimune"japanese Samurai Sword Muromachi Wakizashi Katana AntiGorgeous Hamon By Nagamori長守 580yr Japanese Samurai Wakizashi Katana Sword*shinto* Wwii Japanese Officers Samurai Sword Nihonto Wakizashi Shin Gunto TsubaGorgeous Mountings: 250yr Edo Antique Japanese Samurai Wakizashi Katana SwordNbthk Papered Kuniyuki國行: 340yr Edo Japanese Samurai Wakizashi Katana SwordGunto Imperial Japan Military Sword Shigetaka重高 310yr Samurai Wakizashi Katana*excellent* Wwii Japanese Samurai Sword Officer Kyu Gunto Shin Gunto KatanaKunisada I Utagawa, Three Kingdoms, Japanese Woodblock Print,ukiyo-eJapanese Army Ww2 Antiques Flag Helmet Gunto Tsuka Koshirae At An Early Katana Antique Japanese Cloisonne Enamel VaseHamon Art Japanese Antique Sword Wakizashi Koshirae Tsuba Signed Kozuka Edo EraY114 Japanese Sword Wakizashi In Shirosaya Mountings "hizen Tadayuki", Excellent The Japanese Samurai Sword Gendaito Katana Tachi Superb Large C1880 Japanese Meiji Cloisonne Enamel Famille Rose Scenic Vase18c Netsuke Cow With Boy & Rat By TomotadaJapanese Wakizashi Sukesada Japanese Katana Samurai SwordAuthentic Japanese Katana Sword Wakizashi Kanenaga 兼永 Signed W/shirasaya Nr!!Japanese Sword: Nihonto Nobuyoshi In Shirasaya And Shakudo/gold Habaki19th C. Meiji Period Japanese Cloisonne Sparrow Vase