My mother-in-law has a website (jar-jaf.com) where she sells “findings” that are used for making miniature lighting and for jewelry. Â The latest she has added is “ojime beads.” Â These oriental beads are hand carved in China, shipped to the US and are quite attractive. Â On her site she describes these beads as:
Ojime areÂ 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 personâ€™s sash and an Ojime to slide down the string and keep the Inro closed. Â 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 2â€ Netsuke; Ojime are typically between 3/4 inch to 1 inch â€“ a perfect size for 1/12 scale miniatures. The Ojime are found in most of the same designs as the Netsuke.