Inrō with Portuguese Figures


Not on view

The mutual fascination with which the Japanese and Europeans regarded each other after their initial contacts in the late sixteenth century was expressed in part by Japanese art objects that incorporated images of Westerners as part of the ornamentation. This inro, which was worn suspended from the waist and used to hold medicines and other small items, is decorated with the images of three Portuguese men, dressed in their distinctive pantaloons and jackets with large, ruffled collars.

Inrō with Portuguese Figures, Four cases; lacquered wood with gold hiramaki-e and cut-out gold foil application on black groundNetsuke: dog; ivoryOjime: antler bead, Japan

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1975.268.178 and 1975.268.179