During the Meiji period, the Japanese increasingly took to Western dress in the 19th century, leading to declining in demand for netsuke. Netsuke carvers instead turned to producing Okimono – a small, carved decorative object created specifically for display. These pieces in turn caught the attention of the foreign markets raising their demand. These are carved from a single section of tusk typically depicting domestic scenes of samurais, farmers, fishermen, and children and occasionally, studies of birds, animals and flowers. With the founding of the Tokyo School of Art in 1887, the best carvings for okimono were made.
19th century CE