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Gigaku Masks

"Gigaku Masks"

The Gallery of Horyuji Treasures Room 3  April 13, 2021 (Tue) - April 17, 2022 (Sun)

Gigaku Mask Chidō, Asuka period, 7th century (Important Cultural Property)

Gigaku was an outdoor Buddhist ceremony in which actors wearing large masks performed skits while parading to the accompaniment of music. Gigaku was introduced into Japan from the Korean kingdom of Baekje in the first half of the 7th century. After flourishing in the 7th and 8th centuries, however, it lost popularity and eventually ceased to be performed. The Horyuji Treasures include 19 Gigaku masks made from camphor wood, nine made from paulownia wood, and three made with the dry lacquer technique. The camphor masks were most likely created between the second half of the 7th and the beginning of the 8th century, while the rest are thought to have been made in the 8th century.
This room is open on Fridays and Saturdays.

Major Work(s) on Exhibit 3 results
Designation Name Amount Creation Excavation Period Acquisition Ownership Comment
Highlight Important Cultural Property Gigaku Mask Shishiko Asuka period, 7th century N-208 On exhibit from July 20, 2021
Highlight Important Cultural Property Gigaku Mask Chidō Asuka period, 7th century N-209
Highlight Important Cultural Property Gigaku Mask Suiko-o Asuka–Nara period, 8th century N-231