Beads! Ojime Beads [Wearable Forms Of Japanese Art]

A Japanese Antique Gold Mounted and Peal Inlaid Meiji Era Lacquer Carved Ojime Bead


What are ojime beads?  Beads come in all shapes, forms, and sizes and using beads in the creation of jewelry and accessories can be a great way to get into jewelry making.  Making a necklace or bracelet using beads can be a relatively easy way for most people to create jewelry with little background in the jewelry making process.

Here we will discuss the tradition of Ojime beads, exactly what are ojime beads, and their use in jewelry making today.


  • Ojime beads can be an exciting addition to any jewelry item or accessory as they come in all types of materials, such as wood, bone, or glass, including precious metals


  • Ojime beads can be old, vintage, or modern. It is not uncommon to encounter a necklace made of ojime beads displaying beads from the 17th century and also find ojime beads on the same jewelry made within the past few years.


  • Ojime beads incorporate a variety of styles from the origins of traditional Japanese art through to the modernist designs of contemporary glassmakers in the United States and Europe.


  • While some ojime beads are not signed, more delicate ojime beads may be signed by an artist that has a tradition working within the medium of ojime beads, netsuke, inro, and Sagemono cases.  Signed beads typically command higher prices.


  • Ojime beads can range in price from a few dollars for lower quality works made within the past few years to values within the many thousands of dollars for beads done in precious materials made by master artisans.

A Large Contemporary Glass Copper Sparkle Multi-Band Decorated Bead


The History of Ojime Beads:


  • Ojime beads, (meaning chord fastener), originated in Japan and date back to the Edo period (1603-1868).


  • Ojime beads served as a functional fashion accessory used in conjunction with a Netsuke and Sagemono or Inro, which are decoratively fashioned items that served as hinges and fasteners for carrying cases, or modern-day wallets or purses.


  • Ojime beads, Netsuke, and Sagemono or Inro cases would be items worn on a traditional Kimono.   Kimonos were worn by all classes of people through the 17th-19th century, ( Edo-Meiji period), and are still worn today during certain formal functions in Japan.


Ojime beads for sale! We carry an assortment of ojime beads.  Antique ojime beads, Japanese ojime beads, wooden ojime beads, even vintage ojime beads made by modern artisans within all price ranges and quality levels. We welcome any inquiries regarding our ojime beads for sale and should you have any questions please feel free to contact us. 


 Click here to review our selection of ojime beads for sale!