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Tag type: General


Japanese theater masks.

Masks used in Noh (能) performances, a classical Japanese form of dance drama. The same masks are also used in Kyoogen performances (the comedic counterpart to Noh) and sometimes also in other Japanese performing arts and ceremonies.

Noh masks are traditionally made from carved cypress wood, painted or lacquered. They are frequently affixed by means of a red silk tying cord. Noh mask designs tend to employ heavy emphasis of shadows in order to portray different emotions (which can be changed by angling the mask).

Masks depicting human beings tend to reflect traditional medieval Japanese aesthetics (resembling characters from woodcut prints), having pale 'chubby' faces with well defined brows and cheek lines, plus prominent eyebrows. Masks depicting older humans tend to have extensive wrinkles and beards.

Masks depicting supernatural entities tend to have large eyes and exaggerated expressions. They may also have horns, fangs and other nonhuman features. Gold paint is frequently used to (literally) highlight the otherworldly appearance of such entities.

Noh masks are used to portray different characters when on stage, similar to Western makeup. An actor may, however, rapidly switch between different masks to fulfill different roles.

Noh masks commonly depicted in anime-style art:

Hannya: (Female Demon) (e.g. post #982081)
Hyottoko: (Fire God) (e.g. post #3388260)
Ko-omote: (Young Woman) (e.g. post #1913958 )
Okina: (Old Man) (e.g. post #1898038, bottom mask)
Saru: (Monkey Spirit) (e.g. post #1954618, top mask)
Uba: (Crone) (e.g. post #)

See also:

fox_mask - Sometimes also a noh mask.
monkey_mask - Sometimes also a noh mask.

Menreiki - Japanese youkai formed from the amalgamation of spirits from multiple noh masks.
Hata_no_Kokoro - Humanoid menreiki. Frequently uses noh masks to emote.
Menreiki - Another humanoid menreiki.

External links: Introducing the World of Noh: Noh Mask Database: Mask List:


Other Wiki Information

Last updated: 12/02/22 3:53 AM by surveyork
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