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Noh Mask, Dry Lacquer, Japan, Early 20th C.

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Dolls: Pre 1920: Item # 1475772

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Dry lacquer Noh mask depicting the character of Kokushiki-Jo and designed to represent divine blessings. Inscription at the back of the mask. Japan, early 20th century, maybe earlier. Height: 20.4 cm. Some chips around the rim, partly flaked lacquer, otherwise good condition. NOTE: This mask is used exclusively in "Okina", an ancient dance ritual said to be close to the roots of Noh. Okina is viewed as sacred and therefore accorded a different status from other items in the Noh repertoire. Lacking any plot, Okina is more akin to Shinto ritual, a dance of prayer for peace and bountiful harvests.