Antique Japanese Carved Hinoki Wood Ko Omote Magojiro Noh Mask 孫次郎能面
Antique Japanese Carved Hinoki Noh Mask
Noh Theater Mask of Noble Feminine Beauty
Unsigned. Circa: Edo period, 19th century
H 8.5 in. (21.5cm), W 5.5 in. (14cm), D 3 in. (7.5cm)
Minor abrasions, overall in good condition!
Noh Theater began around the 14th century as a ritual offering in Japanese temples and shrines. Among sixty primary designs in Noh masks, two of the most loved onna-men: Ko-Omote represents a girl in her teens, and Magojiro represents a young woman of feminine beauty, she has a tint of nobility and grace embedded into the perfect symmetry, and a smile no less intriguing than that of Mona Lisa. Hence carving the Magojiro is considered as the ultimate technical challenge and a spiritual quest for mask carvers. As shown here in this noh mask, chisel by chisel hand-carved by an ardent carved, who zealously worked simultaneously in front and backside of the mask, and upon completing the carvings, layers of kaolin primer is applied to build-up the paper-thin surface, only then multiple coats of white pigment was painted, and finished with a final coat of black lacquer for her hair. In view of this exquisite wood mask, the spirit and mystique in the Noh performance are keenly observed in this rare find.