Dancing Death

This ivory netsuke--a small sculpture that serves as a purse--was made by Gyokkosai during the Nineteenth Century. It shows a woman playing playing a samisen, a monkey drinking sake and an animated skeleton holding a fan. The attention to detail is amazing, particularly on the ribs and fingers of the skeleton.

Link -via Wunderkammer | Photo: British Museum

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You beat me to it. Here's what Wikipedia says:

"Their solution was to place such objects in containers (called sagemono) hung by cords from the robes' sashes (obi). The containers may have been pouches or small woven baskets, but the most popular were beautifully crafted boxes (inrō), which were held shut by ojime, which were sliding beads on cords. Whatever the form of the container, the fastener that secured the cord at the top of the sash was a carved, button-like toggle called a netsuke."

If John and Alex were to have made it all the way to the second paragraph.
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