My first encounter with Japanese netsuke is Edmund De Waal's book 'The Hare with the Amber Eyes.' A photograph of the white hare sits with its head turned and one amber eye stares out from the cover of the book. It is an intriguing story of Edmund's family, the collection of 246 netsuke being passed down through the generations from Charles Ephrussi in Paris during the impressionists, to Emmy von Ephrussi in Vienna during the second world war, Edmund's Great Uncle Iggie in Japan and finally to Edmund in England where Edmund currently lives with his family.
I am fascinated with these little objects and Edmund's story. I sketch a light bulb in my notebook. Next to the lightbulb I write 'Japanese woodblock prints in miniature - mini prints on Hosho paper.' I search for Edmund's website and discover a gallery of 29 beautifully carved netsuke.