Netsuke (Jap.): Ne - root wood, Tsuke - to hang up
"The Netsuke is a commodity comparable with a button. Its actual function is to be the origin of a story"
Originally Netsuke served mongolian equestian people for fasting objects on their belts. Because of the conquests of these people made their way to China.
The introduction of tabac by the Portugese in 1542
and the beginning circulation of this luxury-article was the actual boost
of Netsuke-art (as of 17th century).