19th century rock crystal ojime (slide bead for tightening the cord going from netsuke to inro) carved in a shape of magatama. Magatama are curved beads which first appeared in Japan during the Jomon period (circa 1000 BCE), and in Korea during the Prehistoric period, mainly in the Bronze Age and Neolithic. They are found in mounded tumulus graves as offerings to deities, and continued to be popular with the ruling elite throughout the Kofun Period, and are often romanticized as indicative of the Yamato Dynasty of Japan. It is believed that magatama were popularly worn as jewels for decoration, in addition to their religious meaning: they were later largely replaced by Buddhist prayer beads in the Nara period. Wearing one during life is considered a way of gaining protections from kami. Good design, beautiful rock crystal witout any imperfections, very pleasant finish to the surface. Length 1 1/8 inches.