(Japanese: 根付). A type of miniature sculpture, originating in 17th-century Japan. At first, netsuke were simple toggles, attached to the cord of an inro, a small, portable container for personal belongings. The cord was passed under a sash (the obi), which was worn over the kimono. The netsuke hung over the edge of the obi, preventing the inro from slipping off. Netsuke later developed into ornate, luxury accessories carved from ivory, jade and other expensive materials. Pronunciation here. Web resource here. Video here.
Netsuke in the form of an octopus. Ivory. 19th century. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.