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Noh Theater Mask of Otobide, Japan,  Late 19thC.

Noh Theater Mask of Otobide, Japan, Late 19thC.

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Wood: Pre 1900: Item # 1486755

Please refer to our stock # 1-1419 when inquiring.
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Finely carved mask of the Noh traditional theater, with a verystrong expression, representing the character of Otobide. The mask is made of wood, painted in gold (the whole face), black (for the eyebrows and moustache, also on top of the forehead) and red (for the mouth), and the eyes are made of brass. Japan, late 19th century. Height: 21.2 cm. Slight abrasion on some areas due to age, otherwise very good condition. NOTE 1: Otobide is a deity of extraordinary spiritual power, bringing blessings to mortals, a god who flies energetically across the heavens. NOTE 2: While the standard Kotobide has a reddish complexion, in the Kongō school performance analyzed in this website a variant type of the same mask, called Dei-kotobide (‘golden kotobide’) was used instead. Dei-kotobide is entirely covered with gold paint and features golden metal inserts for the eyes. According to noh conventions, gold symbolizes the supernatural nature of a character. The arched eyebrows, open wide round eyes, open mouth, and pointed mustache give the impression of an outburst of energy. Depending on the school and performance variant, the mask is used in combination with red or white kashira wig.