Past News and Views

This page is show previous News and Views. For the latest ones, click here!

Makiko on Radio!

I (Makiko, the editor of this site) will be on radio! My a-few-minutes's talk on "how netsuke have come to receive international acclaim" will be broadcasted on Saturday, October 2, 2004, some time between 5:00pm and 5:55pm, in the program called "Colors of Life". The radio station is J-WAVE (FM 81.3 MHz) (probably available in and around Tokyo). The website of the program is as follows:
The theme of the program for October 2 is "Japanese art spreading around the world", featuring netsuke and other genres of art. If you are in the area covered by J-WAVE, I hope you'll enjoy the program!

Postscript: To those who listened, thank you!!

This announcement was updated on October 4, 2004.

Mr. Kinsey's Interview

During the International Netsuke Society's Hawaii convention at the end of January 2004, local TV broadcasted an interview to the noted ojime and contemporary netsuke collector Mr. Robert O. Kinsey. The video is available at the following page of the Netsuke Online Research Center:

Postscript: The video seems no longer available, but the following page features Mr. Kinsey's lecture in 2004:

Updated on June 19, 2013.

Netsuke Artist Maeda's Another Heated Competition on TV

As the defending champion, netsuke artist Maeda Ataru recently took part in the championship of "the most skillful hands", which will be on the air from 7:30pm to 9pm on November 27, 2003 at TV Tokyo in Japan. The contents include heated-up competition in the use of wine glasses, small dices, and so on. His works of netsuke will also be shown in the program.

Exhibition of Students' Netsuke at Asahi Culture Center

At the entrance of the Asahi Culture Center (on the 4th floor of Sumitomo Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo), there will be a display of netsuke created by twenty some students of the Center's netsuke carving classes. The exhibition is scheduled for October 9 through November 12, 2003. One year has passed since the last show, so we'll see how much they have improved! Click here to view the display.

This announcement was updated on October , 2003.

Masatoshi Video Unavailable

During the last few years I received several inquiries about artist Nakamura Masatoshi's video produced by the International Netsuke Carvers' Associaiton. The Associaiton says that the video is "out-of-print" and is no longer available, and that they have no plans to reproduce it.

Sad News: Artist Azuma Seiho

Netsuke artist and former president of Japan Ivory Carvers' Association Mr. Azuma Seiho passed away on October 12, 2003, at the age of 67. The wake is held on the 14th, and the funeral on the following day. We send our heartfelt condolence to his wife and the rest of the family.

Sad News: Artist Guy Shaw

Netsuke artist Mr. Guy Shaw of England suddenly passed away on October 9, 2003. We send our profound sympathy to his family.

Contemporary Netsuke Carving Course and an Open Lecture at Tamagawa Takashimaya Dept. Store

Tamagawa Institute in Tamagawa Takashimaya Department Store has announced to offer a course in contemporary netsuke carving from October 18, 2003 (Click here for details). Komada Ryushi, who is in charge of the classes, will give an open lecture entitled "The history and culture of netsuke" on October 4, 2003.

Time and date: Saturday, October 4, 2003, from 10:30am to 12:30pm
Fee: 1000 yen (tea will be served)
Place: Community Club Tamagawa (4th floor, the East building of Tamagawa Takashimaya Dept. Store)

For registration and inquiry, please contact the Club office:

[Community Club Tamagawa office]
Tel: 03-3709-2222
Fax: 03-3700-4338
Place: Near Futako Tamagawa Station (on Tokyu Den'entoshi line or Oimachi line)
Website: http://www.cctamagawa.co.jp

Invitation to Evening Class of Netsuke Carving

Netsuke carving class at Asahi Culture Center now has an enrolment of about 20 enthusiastic adults, in spite of the fact that the class is held in the morning of the second and fourth Thursdays. In response to the growing interest, the Center decided to have an evening class in addition to the morning course. The evening class is scheduled from 6pm to 8pm on the second and fourth Thursdays every month. System of fees and other things are the same as those for the morning class, so click here or contact the Center for more information.
Asahi Culture Center
Address: P.O. Box 22, Shinjuku, Sumitomo Building, 2-6-1 Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-0204
Phone: 03-3344-1947
Website: http://www.acc-web.co.jp

Current JISA's President is Mr. Kobari Jusho

The president of Japan Ivory Sculptors' Association has been changed, and okimono artist Mr. Kobari Jusho is now in service as of May 2003. We wish further development of the Association with the guidance of Mr. Kobari!

Postscript: The position of the president has been taken over by Mr. Miyazawa Ryoshu. For details, please take a look at the Association's website at

Updated on November 26, 2008

Netsuke Artist Maeda Competes With Other Skillful Hands on TV

"TV Champion" is a Japanese weekly TV show in which "experts" in one field are given some tasks and compete to be the best in knowledge or technique in the area. Maeda Ataru, a young netsuke artist, recently participated in the championship of "the most skillful hands", which will be on the air from 7:30pm to 9pm on January 30, 2003 at TV Tokyo in Japan. The program includes an introductory section on the history and production of netsuke, and the tasks involve the use of small dices as well as the use of threads and needles. We wish him to be the champion!

Postscript: Mr. Maeda made champion. Congratulations to him!

This announcement was updated on February 3, 2003.

Sorrowful News: H.I.H. Prince Norihito Takamado

H.I.H. Prince Norihito Takamado suddenly passed away on November 21, 2002, at the age of 47. His Highness was a connoisseur of netsuke, and kindly made great contributions to the growth of the contemporary netsuke world. We would like to express our profound sorrow and sincere condolences to H.I.H. Princess Hisako and the family.

Students' Netsuke at Asahi Culture Center


I receive inquiries as to how or where one can learn to carve netsuke, more often than ever before. This is probably because there is a growing interest in netsuke in general (particularly by the Japanese public), and accordingly, more people have been inspired to take on netsuke carving. In addition, the netsuke possibly has certain characteristics, like familiarity or closeness, that not only fascinate people but make them even want to try carving by themselves.

It's already been two and a half years since the netsuke carving class opened at the Asahi Culture Center in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The class began with 8 students, and now the number has grown to 19, which I think demonstrates the ever increasing interest in netsuke and netsuke carving.

At the moment, works by the students are on display around the entrance of the Center (the fourth floor of Sumitomo Building) until November 14, 2002. Admission is free.

The showcase is full of wonderful works which even surprised the instructors!!
Click here to view the display.

Stolen Netsuke Recovered

As reported in this section, netsuke were stolen from a Japanese collector's home (click here for details). Earlier this year the police found most of the stolen netsuke. The owner was very delighted with the great news. However, an ivory netsuke by Kokusai and another ivory piece by Jugyoku are still missing. Click here for the images. Further information on the two works will be much appreciated. Thank you for your coopeartion.

Netsuke on Japanese TV - cancelled

I said in this section that a music entertainment program on Japanese television would give a short introduction of netsuke, but it was cancelled, unfortunately.

Sad News: Artist Nakamura Tamiko

Netsuke artist Ms. NAKAMURA Tamiko (artist name: Tami), the daughter of late Mr. NAKAMURA Masatoshi, passed away on November 1st, 2001. The wake is scheduled on November 3rd, and the funeral ceremony on the following day. She was 55 years old, and it was only 9 months since her father's sudden passing. We send our deepest sympathy to her family.

Stolen Netsuke

Twenty-one netsuke, sagemono and pipe cases, which belong to a Japanese collector, were stolen around the middle of September 2001. Click here for the photos of the missing items. If you have any information about those items, please contact the policeman Mr. NAKAYAMA Naoto at Mukojima Police Station (Fax: +81-3-3614-1140). Thank you for your cooperation.

An anonymous reward of 1,000 US dollars has been offered for the return of any or all the items with no questions asked. Please contact Mr. SHIMATANI Yoichi by fax at +81-3-3618-2746. If anyone wishes to contribute to the reward, please contact Mr. SHIMATANI.

Post script: 19 pieces out of the 21 have been found by the police earlier this year. Click here for the good news.

This announcement was updated on July 29, 2002.

Netsuke Carving Demonstrations

A series of netsuke carving demonstrations has been offered at the Chiba City Museum of Art.

Ryushi gave a presentation on August 19, which was a big success.

On August 25, Seiho will show how to carve boxwood. He will also give audience an opportunity to acutally carve the material at the lecture hall.

The last session will be given on September 9 by Akira, who will demonstrate decoration techniques in lacquer, metal, and some modern materials.

Each session begins at 1:30pm, and the admission is free!

This demonstration series is held in conjunction with the "Cintemporary Netsuke: The Kinsey Collection" exhibition (August 7 - September 24, 2001).

Postscript: The demonstrations were all successful.

This announcement was updated on November 30, 2001.


Ryushi Will Give a Gallery Talk

Netsuke artist Ryushi is going to give a gallery talk at the Chiba City Museum of Art on Saturday, August 11th, starting at 1:30pm. He will show an unusual shoehorn-ojime-netsuke ensemble to the attendees (the picture on the right illustrates the shoehorn. Click the picture for a larger image). Come join us, and find out what's on the reverse of this smoothly polished shoehorn depicting woman's back!

This gallery talk is held in conjunction with the "Cintemporary Netsuke: The Kinsey Collection" exhibition (August 7 - September 24, 2001).

Postscript: The gallery talk went very well.

This announcement was updated on November 30, 2001.


Sad News: Artist Nakamura Masatoshi

Mr. Nakamura Masatoshi, a renowned netsuke artist and honorary member of the International Netsuke Carvers' Association, passed away on January 30, 2001 at the age of 85. The wake will be held on February 1st, and the funeral ceremony on the next day. We send our heartfelt condolence and sympathy to his family.

Mr. Kinsey Receives Honorary Membership from INCA

In honor of his great contribution to the development of contemporary netsuke, Mr. Robert O. Kinsey, a noted collector of ojime and contemporary netsuke, has recently been presented with an honorary membership by the International Netsuke Carvers' Association. Congratulations to Mr. Kinsey!

New Officials of INCA

The two-year term of office of International Netsuke Carvers' Association expired in March 2000, and the following month, these members were chosen to serve as officials in the new term:

PresidentKomada RyushiAuditorAoki Mitsuyuki
Vice-PresidentSata SumiAuditorAkita Ryosen
General AffairsKuroiwa AkiraOfficialMiyazaki Teruo
SecretaryYamada YojiWestern JapanHiraga Tanetoshi
Netsuke FoundationYabe RyoseiIse PresidentNakagawa Tadamine
TreasurerNakamura KazuakiHonorary MemberNakamura Masatoshi
Assistant TreasurerMukaida Yoka

The new officials' efforts will help the Association continue to thrive!
For information about the Association,
click here.

Please note that, throughout the pages of this website, the Japanese names are given in "family-name first" order. Therefore the artist name follows the family name in the above list.

Post script: The officials shown above finished their terms in June 2004. Click here here for new officials since June 2004.

This announcement was updated on October 2, 2004.

"Netsuke Section" Soon to be Open in Wood Shop Mokumoku

Great news for those who are interested in carving wood netsuke! Mokumoku, a large do-it-yourself shop specializing in wood (located in Shinkiba, Tokyo), is now planning and preparing a "Netsuke Section" in the shop to display materials that are suitable for netsuke carving. When it is ready, you will see a selection of small pieces especially cut for miniature carvings. Because they have a wide range of wood materials, interesting, rare kinds as well as common materials such as boxwood will be found in the netsuke section. I'll update the information as soon as the netsuke section is opened, but in the meantime, click here for general information about the store.

Seiho Made New President of JISA

Mr. Azuma Seiho, a contemporary netsuke artist, was chosen as the new President of the Japan Ivory Sculptors' Association earlier this year. Congratulations to Seiho-san!

Nishikie on View at NDL Site

Have you ever visited the website of National Diet Library (NDL) of Japan? (In passing, the NDL is the Japan's biggest, sole government-run library located in Chiyoda, Tokyo.) The site now allows users to view part of its collection, including 23000 works of art from Edo period for free, according to The Japan Times (Saturday, March 25, 2000 p. 3). Among those works of art are 9500 nishikie (multi color woodblock prints)! Search by author, title, etc. is possible, but only in Japanese (i.e., Japanese fonts have to be installed in your computer). Visit now, and you might find a picture in which netsuke is depicted!? The address of NDL site is: http://www.ndl.go.jp/, and the archive including the nishikie can be reached at http://www3.ndl.go.jp/rm/index.html.

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