Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Inrō with Portuguese Figures

Edo period (1615–1868)
late 18th–early 19th century
Four cases; lacquered wood with gold hiramaki-e and cut-out gold foil application on black groundNetsuke: dog; ivoryOjime: antler bead
H. 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm); W. 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm); D. 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm)
Credit Line:
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Accession Number:
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.
[ Harry G. C. Packard , Tokyo, until 1975; donated and sold to MMA].
McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. "Spiritual Beliefs and Earthly Goods: Jesuits and the Exchange between Portugal and Japan in the Age of Exploration," February 16, 2013–June 2, 2013.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Flowering of Edo Period Painting: Japanese Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection," February 1, 2014–September 7, 2014.

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