Ojime bead


An ojime, "cord fastener" is a bead used in Japanese inrō (carrying cases). It is typically under an inch in length. Each is carved into a particular shape and image, similar to the netsuke, though smaller. It is used to fasten the cord of the inrō so that it does not unstack while carried.

The history of ojime beads dates back to the Edo period (1603–1868). Ojime beads, netsuke, and sagemono or inrō cases would be items worn on a traditional kimono, typically hanging from the belt.

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