Definition of inro in English:


nounplural noun inro, plural noun inros

  • An ornamental box with compartments for items such as seals and medicines, worn suspended from a waist sash as part of traditional Japanese dress.

    ‘These ornaments were originally made to provide a way to secure tobacco cases, purses, or inro (medicine containers), which fashionable Japanese men suspended on silk cords at their waists starting about 1700.’
    • ‘Wearing inro and netsuke became a part of the past for the upper classes and samurai.’
    • ‘But the emphasis of his artistic and artisan production was on painted screens and on all kinds of lacquerware utensils - inro, boxes, cups, panels and screens.’
    • ‘Metalwork and sword fittings are also displayed alongside examples of inro, which is a sectional case or box worn suspended from the obi by a cord on which the netsuke serves as a toggle.’
    • ‘It was fastened by a sash and personal items were carried in small containers known as inro, which hung from the sash, secured by toggles - netsuke.’



/ˈinrō/ /ˈɪnroʊ/


Early 17th century from Japanese inrō, from in ‘seal’ + rō ‘basket’.