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File:BLW Inro with Monkeys in Human Guises.jpg

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Britain Loves Wikipedia at the Victoria and Albert Museum
Inro with Monkeys in Human Guises
English: Inro

About 1750-1850
Black, gold, red and brown lacquer

The inro is a container made up of tiers. Japanese men used them because the traditional Japanese garment, the kimono, had no pockets. From the late 1500s onwards, Japanese men wore the inro suspended from their sash by a silk cord and a netsuke (toggle). They originally used it to hold their seal and ink or a supply of medicines. However, it rapidly became a costly fashion accessory of little or no practical use. Most inro are rectangular with gently curving sides.
Makers used a great variety of decorative styles and layout. On this example, the maker has spread the decoration over the entire body. As a result, the inro often cuts the decoration at unusual or unexpected places. This design shows 115 monkeys, many of which are dressed like human beings and engaged in human activities. It is a remarkable achievement given the small scale of the decoration and the use of the makie (sprinkled picture) technique. This involves sprinkling gold, red and brown powders on to a prepared lacquer surface to create the design.

Pfungst Gift

Collection ID: W.222-1922

This photo was taken as part of Britain Loves Wikipedia in February 2010 by David Jackson.

Date Photographed in
Source Originally uploaded at
Author David Jackson


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current22:24, 10 April 2010Thumbnail for version as of 22:24, 10 April 20102,448 × 3,264 (1.38 MB)File Upload Bot (Mike Peel) (talk | contribs){{BLW2010 | title=Inro with Monkeys in Human Guises | description={{en|Inro<br /> About 1750-1850<br /> Black, gold, red and brown lacquer<br /> <br /> The inro is a container made up of tiers. Japanese men used them because the traditional Japanese garme
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