19 November 2020

Late lunch talk: Japanese netsuke carvings

Bristol has a superb collection of around 200 Japanese netsuke – finely carved miniature sculptures that Japanese men used as toggles tucked into their belts.

Created in the 1700s and 1800s, each netsuke is unique and they depict a huge range of subjects from Japanese popular culture.

75 of these tiny masterpieces from our collection will go on display in Bristol Museum & Art Gallery in November.

Using new photography, this talk will introduce the history and cultural significance of netsuke. It will touch on the subject matter of these tiny masterpieces from mythical creatures and folk tales, to the natural world and everyday life.

Find out about aspects of Japanese daily life from sumo wrestling to wood-working and meet the water sprite, kappa, who has a fondness for rice wine. Hear the story of the Lucky Tea Kettle and why you should throw soybeans at devils at the beginning of the year.

Speaker: Kate Newnham, senior curator of visual arts.

How to take part

This free, online talk will be held over Zoom. Please book your place below. Details of how to join the session will be in your registration email. Please check your spam folder if the email does not arrive. Bookings close at 11am on Thursday 19 November.

Although this talk is free, we would be grateful if you could consider making a donation.

Please visit the Zoom website for guidance on joining meetings. Please allow extra time before the talk begins to make sure everything is working correctly. It’s up to you whether you turn on your video but all guests will be muted once the talk begins. You are welcome to ask questions in the chat box throughout the talk.