Inro Lake Landscape


Inrō with four gold lacquer boxes, decorated with a lake landscape. Accompanied by a bronze ryusa manju.

Small boxes formed of compartments that fit one on top of the other, inrō (印籠) are traditional Japanese clothing items. Since the kimono had no pockets, everyday objects were carried in small boxes (sagemono) hung on the belt (obi). To prevent them from slipping, a netsuke, a small wooden or ivory figurine, was used to hold the cord of the inrō or other types of sagemono. The inrō are often decorated with harmonious scenery and scenes inspired by the flora and fauna. Japanese artists play with materials and shapes with precision and thoroughness comparable to goldsmithing.

Representation of lake landscapes bordered by mountains is frequent : Japan is an island country, but also mountainous. Very steep, located in the center of each island, the mountains partition Japanese landscapes. Most regions have their own symbolic and revered mountain, and climbing the mountains is like a pilgrimage. It is thus usual to represent mountains giving way to small plains where the inhabitants dispute the ground with the rice fields and the lakes.

Japan – Edo Period ( 1603 – 1868 ) 

Height : 2.6 inch – Diameter : 1.4 inch