Posted by: softypapa | February 6, 2008

Antique Japan Usobuki Mask Festival Style Hyotoko Kamen

Antique Japan Usobuki Mask Festival Style Hyotoko Kamen Japanese Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Japan Usobuki Mask Festival Style Hyotoko Kamen Japanese Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Japan Usobuki Mask Festival Style Hyotoko Kamen Japanese Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Japan Usobuki Mask Festival Style Hyotoko Kamen Japanese Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Japan Usobuki Mask Festival Style Hyotoko Kamen Japanese Tokaido Softypapa

Antique Japan Usobuki Mask Festival Style Hyotoko Kamen Japanese Tokaido Softypapa  

Description

Japanese Usobuki mask.  Usobuki, also known as Hyotoko is the name for the male half* of a traditional Japanese Kyogen theatre pair (see below to learn more about Kyogen).  Usobuki is sometimes called the ‘whistler’ as he usually appears to be in the process of blowing with all his might through pursed lips.  His countenance in remarkable for its expression of forceful effort; and his puffy cheeks, bulging eyes and furrowed brow have been used to portray a wide range of characters within the Kyogen repertoire.  Usobuki masks have been used to depict everything from comical human characters to the spirits of plants, fish and insects; including mosquitoes, mushrooms and even pine resin!  Perhaps most memorable of all is Usobuki’s appearance as a sinner on his way to hell in a play titled “A Sinner with References.”

About the Listed Item

Japanese papier-mache Usobuki mask (kamen).  This mask dates from the mid to late Japanese Showa period (1926-1989) and is in very poor condition with tears and creases as well as many marks and scratches from past use.  The mask also wears a darkened patina of age.  This interesting artifact of Japanese culture was acquired in historic Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji.  Please click here to see other Okame items for sale in our eBay store The Old Tokaido.

This beautiful artifact of Japanese culture was acquired in the historic city of Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji.  Please click here to see other Usobuki items for sale in our eBay store The Old Tokaido.

Size:
Height: 7.2 inches (18.5 centimeters)
Width (across widest point): 5.3 inches (13.5 centimeters)
Weight: 1.0 ounces (29 grams)

Click here to see more masks!
Click
here to see other Usobuki items!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about Japanese Noh and Kyogen theatre

Noh (pronounced “no”) theatre is one of the classical Japanese forms of stage performance.  Noh and its more light hearted and humorous sister art Kyogen are often performed together in traditional theater houses within large Japanese cities.  In the past, formal Noh/Kyogen performances would last all day with several heavy and serious Noh dramas of different genres being performed with periodic Kyogen performances between these to give the audience a break and a chance to laugh.  Noh actors are always male (even the ones dressed as women), and normally share the stage with an orchestra of traditional Japanese musicians as well as a choir.  The actors recite their lines in old Japanese style (most Japanese can’t understand them and must follow the story with a written script) sung with trailing syllables oscillating with flowing emphasis.  Noh and Kyogen actors often wear masks to help them better portray the character they are playing or to lend emphasis to key points of their performance.  With the exception of demon masks (which are very expressive) most Noh/Kyogen masks are neutral in expression, requiring the actor to indicate emotion exclusively through subtle body movements.  The craft of making Noh and Kyogen masks is an important Japanese art form in itself and many masks (particularly the dramatic demon and god masks) are collected by Japanese and foreign enthusiasts of Japanese culture.

* Usobuki’s female companion is “Okame.”

item code: R1S2-0003855
ship code: G3

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Responses

  1. i love noh mask and imake it in bali hyotoko hannya shisimay ect .mybe ican join with you.


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