Netsuke, Car Hangings & Massagers
Netsuke originated in Japan so that men wearing kimonos could hold things, because kimonos don't have pockets. Small pouches or boxes were attached to their robes using cords decorated with a dangling ornament called netsuke. Today, netsuke have become popular collector items.
Netsuke are only a few inches in size, but come in many themes. Ancient netsuke were often made from ivory, jade, or precious stones. Modern netsuke are more often carved from wood or bone.
Most of our netsuke are carved from Chinese boxwood, which is very slow growing, but produces a close grained wood that is ideal for carving intricate details. Netsuke are most often carved in a flow process where several people each carve certain elements. They are usually carved with a circular method, that can leave circular lines on a finished piece.
Our netsuke mainly focus on animal themes and each piece has traditional holes in the base where the kimono cord was once threaded. In ancient times, this meant that when the item was handled, the head was free to be stroked, rather than having the obstacle of a knot for the cord in the way. It does make netsuke hard to use as jewelry pendants, unless you don't mind them hanging upside down.
The car hangings we sell are a type of netsuke, but made from rosewood. The subtle scent of rosewood is said to soothe troubled people and was used for wooden pillows in ancient China because of its apparent sedative qualities. So hanging a rosewood piece in your car may help soothe an otherwise hectic time on the road in heavy traffic. Plus many of these car hangings are created in honor of the buddha or the goddess Qwan Yin, both peaceful deities associated with calm and serenity, and some have buddhist mantras and sutras, or sacred words and phrases, written on the back. Car hangings are strung from a cord, loop or beads that attach to your rear vision mirror, and have lovely silk tassels.
Our beautiful carved wood acupressure massagers are small enough to fit in your hand. In Asia, these type of massagers are rolled in the hands to stimulate acupressure points. Because they have rounded extremities, they can also be used to obtain extra pressure and relieve the stress on knuckles or fingers when doing acupressure anywhere on the body. These items are usually made from agarwood, (aloeswood or eaglewood), which is also called imitation Sandalwood because it has a similar though more subtle type of scent.
These acupressure massagers are also talismanic or amulet items made with spiritual or metaphysical themes. Because of the rounded ends, they don't stand up like figurines do. They are meant to be working or useable items, and over time the wood will change from an original light color to a very deep brown as the scented oils are released by the warmth of your hands.