Netsuke are usually small sculptures in ivory or in wood whose origin probably goes up again to the XV century. These small sculptures were perforated by two holes through which to pass a flex in silk and they were destined to fix to the belt of the kimono the small medicines box or the tobacco box or the pipe box. See exact explanation at page 88 Photos show front and back . These Netsukes are max 6 cm high except the photos of the last three pages which are not Netsukes.
The netsukes were fundamentally conceived for their use: the Japanese suits ( kimono ) didn't have the pockets, so the small objects or things that the people brought with them were put in small containers ( inro ) (hands coins, hands tobacco, hands spices, etc.) attached to a belt ( obi ) of silk through a rope ( himo ), and to avoid that these containers slipped away, to the opposite extremity of the rope they attached a button ( netsuke : net =firewood and tsuke =button). All these accessories on the suit didn't have only a practical purpose but they were also used as ornament, particularly the netsuke .