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A work made of carved wood.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of carved wood.


Edo period (1615–1868)



About this artwork

Inrô and netsuke were usually designed as paired sets, echoing and reinforcing a single theme. In this set, the gold-lacquered inrô is in the shape of a hollowed wooden block of the sort struck in Buddhist rituals to keep time for chanting. It is decorated with dragon faces and dragon scale patterns to situate it squarely in a Chinese otherworld. The accompanying netsuke replicates both the Chinese and percussion themes of the inrô, portraying a figure with a stereotypical Chinese hairstyle marching to the beat of a drum as large as himself. Though in modern times, sets have often been broken up to cater to the separate markets of inrô and netsuke collecting, this set fortunately remains intact.


Currently Off View


Arts of Asia




Japan (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Carved wood

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel M. Nickerson

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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