My mother-in-law has a website (jar-jaf.com) where she sells “findings” that are used for making miniature lighting and for jewelry. The latest she has added is “ojime beads.” These oriental beads are hand carved in China, shipped to the US and are quite attractive. On her site she describes these beads as:
Ojime are hand-carved sculptures that originated in Japan.
From about 17th century, the Japanese people (especially the men) carried a small compartmentalized box called an Inro. There was also a Netsuke to balance the Inro over the person’s sash and an Ojime to slide down the string and keep the Inro closed. By the end of the 19th Century, they had evolved into elaborately carved boxes with the accompanying Netsuke and Ojime. While many people are familiar with the larger 2” Netsuke; Ojime are typically between 3/4 inch to 1 inch – a perfect size for 1/12 scale miniatures. The Ojime are found in most of the same designs as the Netsuke.