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Japanese Wooden Box

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Asian Antiques7190 of 7774porcelain umbrella stand, United Wilson markJade vases
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Posted 7 years ago

(33 items)

Bought this "box" over 10 years ago when I was in Fukushima, Japan.
Interesting box, but I have no idea what it's purpose is.

The box is all wood ( light and dark) with a light string attached from both sides of the box and lid... the strings exiting the center of the lid.
Nice patina !
Measurements are 5" high x 6" wide slightly grading narrower towards the top.
As you can see the inside is very narrow ....... perhaps for cigarettes? !

Are there any Japanese Connoisseurs out there who could tell me a little bit more about this box?

Once again, Thanks to every one who can help me and who has helped me in the past.


Mystery Solved


  1. Frenchef Frenchef, 7 years ago
    Thank you Dean..

    A very interesting item and was great to learn something new!

    I am still unsure what mine was designed to carry, it is rather slim, but perhaps tabacco or writing tools...

    Thank you again!
  2. Pencil-necked-geek Pencil-necked-geek, 6 years ago
    I believe what you have is an 'inro', a small box that hung by a cord from the 'obi' or sash belt worn with a kimono in Japan. The boxes operated as storage for such items as pipes, tobacco, money, seals, or medicines on the kimonos, which did not have pockets. You may have heard of 'netsuke', carved figural slides that tightened down on those cords to keep the box closed and also worked to keep the inro hooked to the belt. You can see them in action here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netsuke Old examples are highly collectible and can get veddy, veddy pricy, but my sense is that yours is a more modern example.
  3. Frenchef Frenchef, 6 years ago
    Thank you for this useful information about this "inro".
    Those "Netsuke" are priceless....

    Thanks again for your help.

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