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Updated: 29 May 2024


Traditional Japanese case
-antique Inro (IR-20)



Vertical Horizontal Weight Layers
8.5 cm 5.5 cm 63 g 5

You can enlarge all the photos to see the detail of the item.


SKU: IR-20 Categories: , ,

 It has a flat rectangular shape and is divided into five layers. A string was passed to both sides of each step, fastened with netting to prevent falls. Furthermore, the string was sandwiched between bands.

 This Inro has a gorgeous appearance thanks to the Makie (蒔絵) technique. The Makie is a typical Japanese lacquer art technique developed uniquely in Japan for about 1200 years. Firstly, it needs to draw a picture with lacquer on the surface with a thin brush. Next, sprinkle the gold powder above to show the pattern before the lacquer hardens. This technique makes an elegant and ornamental look to works, as seen in this Inro case.

 Flowers are designed, and these are probably chrysanthemums. This plant motif has been prevalent among Japanese people. A long time ago, the chrysanthemum was used as a medicine for obtaining a long life, and it was brought to Japan for the continent with this thought in the Nara period (648-781). Chrysanthemum symbolizes autumn, and people have appreciated it very much since ancient times. As its petals form radially, the chrysanthemum has been likened to the sun. That is why this flower pattern is treated as the symbol of perpetual youth and longevity or good health.

 Here we write stories that tell a deep relationship between this flower design and the Samurai culture. From the Kamakura (1185-1333) period to the Warring States period (1467-1615), the chrysanthemum crest was given as a reward from the then Emperor to the warlords who made significant contributions. For example, Ashikaga Takauji (足利尊氏, 1305-1358), who became the first Shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate, cooperated with Emperor Go-Daigo (後醍醐天皇, 1288-1339) to dissolve the Kamakura Shogunate. And Takauji was given a chrysanthemum crest.

 In addition, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598) was also given a chrysanthemum crest by Emperor Goyouzei. A theory says Hideyoshi was delighted and used this motif for furniture. At that time, the Emperor was regarded as God. Therefore, it was an irreplaceable honor for Samurais to receive the family crest from the Emperor. In this Inro, we are not sure if chrysanthemums were designed as a family crest or not. However, we hope these stories draw your interest.

 The motif of the Netsuke (根付, miniature sculpture, fastener) is a rabbit. Its shape engraved an exaggerated figure and has a charming appearance.

 Hopefully, you enjoyed this description, and we wish this Inro would speak to you.

 *As this item is an antique, please check each photo and ensure its condition.

What is Inro?
 Inro is a small container for carrying medicine and tobacco leaves. In the Edo period, Samurai had a habit of carrying regular medicines in Inro, which were used daily and were popular as accessories that represent Edo crafts.

【About us】
 Samurai Museum is located in Tokyo, Japan, exhibiting antique artifacts related to the Samurai history. Samurai Museum Shop is the place for those who are interested in Japanese culture and craftsmanship. We deal with antique Samurai swords/armor, traditional crafts made in Japan and so on.

【Payment method】
 We accept payment through Stripe (Credit card), PayPal, Apple Pay or ChromePay, all of which are secure payment methods. Also, you don’t need to make an account on Stripe for the checkout. If you prefer other payment method, please contact us. You may either pay in JPY, USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, CHF or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate. 

【Shipping duration】
 We normally ship via EMS (Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. It usually takes at least 5-14 days to deliver the package after you place an order. We will use DHL instead for those who ordered from Canada or Australia as EMS temporarily stops shipping to these countries due to COVID-19. We offer Free International Shipping as long as we can ship your order by either EMS or DHL (Australia, Canada only). If you prefer other shipping carriers, please contact us.  

 We will inform you of the order’s tracking number via email. Please make sure you fill out your valid email address correctly. 

*Please keep in mind that due to the spread of COVID-19, there might be possible delays in delivery. If you like to make sure if EMS shipping is available to your country, please contact us.

【How to make sure the condition】
 Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision. 

 It is essential for us to know that you are happy with your choice of Inro and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.


 Would you like see some more Antique items for sale? Please check the link below. We hope you can find your favorite item.


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