Posted by: softypapa | March 17, 2008

Iron Japanese Noh Old Man Mask – Shiwa Jyou Kazarimen

Mask Kamen Kazarimen Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Mask Kamen Kazarimen Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Mask Kamen Kazarimen Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Mask Kamen Kazarimen Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Mask Kamen Kazarimen Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Mask Kamen Kazarimen Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

Description

Cast iron Japanese shiwa jyou noh mask.  Japanese Noh theatre (please read below to learn more about Noh) features a wide range of masks which are used to depict everything from a range of human countenances to divine and supernatural personas.  One of the most subtle and interesting mask types are those which are used to show the character and image of an elderly man.  The old man mask offered here is of a type called shiwa jyou which is characterized by heavy wrinkles (shiwa means wrinkle) across the brow, cheeks and lower face.

About the Listed Item

Japanese cast iron shiwa jyou noh display mask (kazarimen).  This display mask is in very good condition though it is missing the cords which attach the jaw to the upper part of the mask.  The mask dates from the mid to late Showa period (1926-1989).  This beautiful artifact of Japanese culture was acquired in historic Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji.

Size:
Height (excluding beard): 7.0 inches (18.0 centimeters)
Length beard (approximate): 10.1 inches (26.0 centimeters)
Width (across widest point): 5.3 inches (13.5 centimeters)
Weight: 1.9 pounds (862 grams)

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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.

item code: R1S5-0004453
ship code: G6


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