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No mask of a young woman
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No is a musical masked Japanese dance drama. Lt flourished in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and came under the patronage of the Ashikaga shogunate (1333-1568) after Ashikaga Yoshimitsu saw a particular performance in Kyoto in 1374. Its development was highly influenced by Zen Buddhism. It later became formalized and adopted as official entertainment under the Tokugawa shoguns (1600-1868).

A number of standard masks are used in different dramas. A skilfully carved mask will appear to have subtle changes of expression depending on the way the wearer turns his head and the angle at which it is held. This is one of several variations of a young-woman mask based on an original design by the famous fourteenth-century No actor Zeami Motokiyo. The false eyebrows painted high on the forehead and the blackened teeth were fashionable cosmetic styles for over a thousand years until the late nineteenth century.

No mask of a young woman


From Japan, 18th-19th century AD Ht 21.2 cm




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