Mask representing the face of a Kongorishiki-Nyo, with a fierce exprssion and open mouth. Wood, eyes made of glass. Inscription at the back. Japan, early 20th century. Height: 26 cm. The mask is nicely mounted on a custom stand. Slight abrasion, otherwise very good condition. NOTE: Kongorishiki was the first heavenly king, called Nio. The Nio were originally hindu gods in India, who were adopted by the Japanese into the Buddhist pantheon. The Nio, also called Kongo, came to be considered aggressive guardian deities. Early in the Japanese Buddhist tradition, they were depicted in the form of large statues at the entrance of Buddhist temples. They are generally called Nio guardian figures and can still be seen on both sides of the entrance of famous Buddhist temples in Kyoto and Nara in Japan.