Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 14
March 20, 2018 (Tue) - April 22, 2018 (Sun)
Noh and Kyogen have been performed for centuries in Japan, with Kyogen plays serving as comic interludes in between acts of Noh. These performing arts feature not only human characters, but also supernatural figures such as gods and demons. When playing these roles, actors wear distinctive masks that are of central importance to the performances and aid the audience in using their imaginations to flesh out the stories portrayed.
A variety of masks have been created for depicting these roles, which include smiling gods that bring peace and bountiful harvests, beautiful goddesses with airs of nobility, and even violent deities that symbolize the destructive power of nature. This exhibition also features masks portraying demons, monsters, and tengu, which are winged creatures that terrorize humans with their unearthly powers, as well as those portraying women who were driven mad with jealousy and turned into vengeful demons or spirits. We invite visitors to enjoy the stunning forms and rich variety of these Noh and Kyogen masks.