Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 14
July 20, 2021 (Tue) - September 26, 2021 (Sun)
Seki in Gifu Prefecture was a thriving hub of swordsmiths from ancient times. Seki’s Kasuga Shrine served as the tutelary shrine for these artisans. This display features Noh masks, Kyōgen masks and other masks passed down through the shrine’s long history.
The masks are all masterpieces, though Noh Mask: Jō (Waraijō) is particularly worthy of note. The style of Noh masks was formalized from early modern times, with masks subsequently produced according to fixed templates. The Waraijō mask is different, though, with a striking originality clearly apparent in the soft lips, the vivid expressions, and the way the teeth have been carved out one by one.