This article from the WGBH program Sister Wendy: "American Collection" discusses the origin of netsuke. The name for the decorative little toggles that made their debut in late 17th-century Japan literally means "root for fastening." Netsuke were not subject to the strict rules of dress or the restrictions of art because they were technically neither. As a result, no subject or material was off limit to artisans. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Baku, Monster Who Eats Nightmares, Gechu, Japanese, 18th century.