Traditional Japanese garments (kimono and kosode robes) had no pockets, so personal belongings were kept in a small container called an inro. This was suspended from the obi (the sash worn around the waist) and kept fastened to it by a miniature sculpture called a netsuke. Most often carved from ivory or wood, netsuke came into use in the early 17th century, and later on were made for ornamental purposes.
See a Flickr set of elaborate and sometimes symbolic netsuke from the Victoria & Albert Museum. Link -Thanks, Mo!
(image credit: mcost)