Contemporary Wood-Carved NETSUKE

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December 9th, 2023 @ 11:30 am - 4:30 pm EST

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 11:30 am on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, repeating until December 16th, 2023

An event every week that begins at 11:30 am on Thursday, repeating until December 16th, 2023

Cost: Free
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Contemporary Wood-Carved NETSUKE
Exhibition produced and presented by The Japan Foundation

September 15 – December 16, 2023

Admission: FREE
Gallery Hours: Hourly timeslots starting at 11:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 1:30PM, 2:30 PM, 3:30 PM (4:30 PM and 5:30 PM on Thursdays)

Our gallery exhibition is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
We closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays.
We are also closed on select Saturdays: September 30-October 1 (weekend of National Day of Truth and Reconciliation), October 7-9 (Thanksgiving weekend), November 11-12 (Remembrance Day weekend)

Library & Gallery Opening Hours

Tuesday11:30am to 4:30pm
Thursday11:30am to 6:30pm
Friday11:30am to 4:30pm
Saturday11:30am to 4:30pm *Closed on select Saturdays



Netsuke is a delicate and whimsical art form unique to Japan which fits on your palm intimately. In the 17th and 18th century Netsuke developed rapidly in the kimono fashion culture. For kimonos, which had no pockets, Netsuke acted as toggles providing daily-life convenience for carrying things such as pouches, medicine cases, and smoking pipe cases. Since Japanese fashion had been westernized in the mid-19th century, Netsuke receded from practical use, but still attracted artistic interest not only within Japan but worldwide.

In this exhibition, 65 contemporary pieces which are all wood-carved are on display. SAITŌ Bishū, a master Netsuke carver, describes the charm and attraction of Netsuke as “Freedom amidst constraints.” Netsuke are made under certain restrictions, such as needing two holes to run the cord through and requiring it to be round to avoid getting caught. The carvers express themselves as freely as possible under these constraints, which, in the end, magically stimulate the imaginations of both creators and viewers.

Book your visit here

Due to the COVID-19 precautions, we are open in limited hourly slots, 4 days a week. Advanced, time-specific reservation is recommended. Hand-sanitization at the entry and wearing face-coverings on our premises are recommended.

Book your visit at

Related Events:

Netsuke Collection at the ROM, Toronto

Saturday, October 28, 2:30PM – 4:00PM (ET)
Talk/Presentation | Admission Free | Registration Required

Presented by Dr. TAKESUE Akiko
Bishop White Committee Associate Curator of Japanese Art & Culture, Royal Ontario Museum

Register Here  


Gallery-Goers, Don’t Miss JFT’s Netsuke Library Collection!

Whether you are a future gallery-goer or have already been captivated by the Contemporary Wood-Carved NETSUKE exhibition at JFT Gallery, add an extra layer of appreciation by checking out JFT Library’s items! To enhance your understanding of this unique art form, we have curated a library item list, including select titles on the history, craftsmanship, and cultural significance of netsuke, as well as related art forms such as woodcarving, sculptures and figurines. Those items are currently on display in our library right next to the gallery. So, don’t miss this opportunity to delve deeper into the intricate world of netsuke and the artistry that surrounds it!

Apply for a new library card or renew your expired card here


December 9th, 2023 @ 11:30 am
December 9th, 2023 @ 4:30 pm
Event Category:


The Japan Foundation, Toronto
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The Japan Foundation, Toronto
2 Bloor St. East, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8 Canada
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