Netsuke is a small wooden carving worn above the girdle to hold the Inro or tobacco-pouch in place.
It is said that the production of Netsuke prospered as the carrying around of a tobacco-pouch came into fashion in the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868).
Craftspeople use Asamatsuge, (a wood of the box tree family) which grows locally, for their material, as this tree is very hard and abrasion resistant.