Meet Netsuke - Storytellers of Japan

March 2017

Japanese Information & Culture Centre, Embassy of Japan and the Japan-America Society of Washington D.C

Project Overview

Creative Wisdom were asked to design a catalogue for an exhibition of Netsuke for the Japanese Embassy in Washington D.C., as part of the 2017 National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. We also organised the printing in the UK and the results of the catalogue “Meet Netsuke – Storytellers of Japan” are stunning.

The Japan Information & Culture Center (JICC) presents a unique exhibition of finely crafted miniature sculptures known as netsuke [pronounced netz-kay] brimming with stories of life during Edo period Japan (17th – 19th Century). Netsuke originated as functional accessories, but grew in popularity as eccentric fashion statements. Rarely displayed in public in these numbers, these pieces display not only rich history, but also meticulous craftsmanship.

Originally created as toggles to attach wallets, tobacco pouches, and other small boxes to the obi belt on Japanese kimono, netsuke became symbols of wealth, character, and personal values. Artful sculptures of everything from comical creatures to honored elements of nature, frightening mythological figures, and scenes from everyday life, each netsuke piece has a unique story to share about Japan.

The exhibition runs from March 15 – May 15 2017 at the Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan in Washington DC. Find out more.

“The catalogues are so beautiful and I was moved to tears. Thank you, thank you!”
Yoko Tsuge, First Secretary, Public Affairs Section, Embassy of Japan, Washington D.C.