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Prints and Masks of Japanese Noh Theater
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By
Dr. Joni M. Koehn
Prints and Masks of Japanese Noh Theater
Exhibition Dates:
June 4 – November 16, 2014
Quiet Rage, Gentle Wail: Prints and Masks of Japanese Noh Theatre
Author: Dr. Joni M. Koehn
Publisher: Phoenix Art Museum
ISBN 10: 0-9844081-4-2

The exhibition is organized by Phoenix Art Museum.
Additional Support provided by:
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More than most exhibitions at Phoenix Art Museum,
Quiet Rage, Gentle Wail: Prints and Masks of Japanese
Noh Theater reminds us that we are an institution that
draws upon our community to achieve what we do.
Nearly every aspect of this exhibition represents
individual and team eforts that has brought together
a wonderful collaboration at a fortuitous moment
in time.
In 2009, Phoenix Art Museum celebrated its 50th
Anniversary. Curators were given a collective mission
by the Director and the Board of Trustees to seek
“Fifty significant gifts to the collection in honor of
the Fiftieth Anniversary.” In Asian art, fifteen donors
gave over two hundred thirty objects. Among those
fifteen donors, there was one that touched my heart
the most. It was the gift of twenty-four individual
prints and a complete album of fifty-two prints
focused on the subject of Japanese Noh Theater. This
marvelous gift added a new dimension to the Asian
collection that was previously unrepresented. But,
most importantly, it was given by Gene Koeneman
and Sherri Beadles, who are not only members of
our local community of collectors and Asian art
aficionados, but Gene Koeneman is a long-standing
member of the Museum staf as Chief Preparator.
Their extraordinary generosity and dedication to
this Museum inspired a second gift in 2010, that of
twenty-two Noh masks and additional Noh prints,
gifted by the late Roger Dunn. At that moment, I knew
that a wonderful future exhibition had been created.
At the same time, Phoenix Art Museum was invited
to participate with Arizona State University in the
application process for a grant from the Japan
Foundation; an agency of the Foreign Ministry of
Japan that is highly competitive for its coveted
grants to universities, museums and other cultural
organizations in the US and twenty other nations.
Arduous planning and paperwork led finally to a
letter confirming our prestigious three-year award.
I am grateful to Momoko Welch, my former
Curatorial Assistant at Phoenix Art Museum;
Patricia Way, student intern from Whitman College
in summer of 2010; Dr. Claudia Brown, Professor
of Art History at ASU; Dr. Anthony Chambers,
Professor of Languages & Literatures at ASU; Jean
Makin, Print Collection Manager/Curator at ASU
Art Museum; Peter Held, Director of the Center
for Ceramics Research, ASU; Dr. Sybil Thornton,
Associate Professor of Pre-modern Japanese History
at ASU; and Dr. Stephen MacKinnon, President of the
Asian Arts Council of Phoenix Art Museum and all
of its Board Members; among many others, for their
insights and collaboration in the Japan Foundation
Grant project. At Phoenix Art Museum, the funds
permitted us to present a symposium on Japanese
prints, several rotations of prints in the Asian Gallery,
several lectures, and the entire expenses for this
special exhibition; its research, object photography,
installation and online catalogue.
The research and content of the exhibition didactics
and the online catalogue have been provided to us by
another member of our local community, Dr. Joni M.
Koehn, as Guest Curator. Dr. Koehn received her Ph.D.
from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 2000 with
a dissertation on the topic: Reflections of the Demon-
Woman: Crafting Images of Women in the Noh
Plays Kanawa and Aoi no Ue. She holds B.A. degrees
in Theater and Japanese language. Currently she
teaches Japanese at Rio Salado College and is also the
Theater Director at Campo Verde High School. How
fortunate we are to have such specialized expertise
in our midst!
As always, the leadership and expertise of Phoenix
Art Museum staf is crucial in the process of bringing
an idea to realization as an exhibition. I wish to
thank our Director, James K. Ballinger, for allowing
his curators to be visionaries in implementing their
ideas. With every exhibition, it is the behind-the-
Janet Baker, Ph.D.
Curator of Asian Art
Phoenix Art Museum
foreword
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scenes work of the Registrar’s Ofce; including
Leesha Alston, Laura Wenzel, Rachel Sadvary and
Kari Walters; our Exhibition Designer, David Restad,
and the Preparator’s Staf; including Gene Koeneman,
Bob Gates, Zach Glover and Henry Bellavia; that
makes everything come together seamlessly. Ana
Cox, Visual Resources Coordinator, worked with
Phoenix photographers Ken Howie on the Noh masks
and Mike Lundgren on the Noh prints to assure us the
best possible digital images of these extraordinary
works of art. Carlotta Soares, Director of Marketing;
and Stephanie Lieb, Public Relations Manager; worked
tirelessly to make certain that our community heard
the word about this wonderful exhibition. In addition,
I would like to acknowledge the fine editorial skills
of long-time Museum supporter and community
member Anne Gully.
Finally, we will enjoy the excitement of the Theatre
Nogaku, when two members of this Seattle troupe,
David Crandall and Elizabeth Dowd, come to Phoenix
Art Museum to share their performance expertise
with our audiences.They will ofer samplings from
select scenes of four diferent Noh plays to allow
viewers to create an aural and visual vocabulary
to appreciate this art form as well as a behind-the-
scenes glimpse into the nuance and skill of Noh
performance through chant, movement and even
trying on a mask.
Many words have been used to describe the
experience of Noh theater: subtle, sophisticated,
elegant, nuanced, intellectual, profound, lengthy,
repetitive, hard to comprehend. We sincerely hope
that through the interpretations provided by the
expertise of these American Noh scholars you will be
presented with a challenge that will ofer rich rewards!
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In the mid-fourteenth century, the performer
Kanami fused an amalgamation of narrative
religious performance, popular shirabyōshi dances,
and musical entertainments into a coherent whole.
Kanami’s creativity earned him the patronage of
the nobility and with his son, the gifted Zeami,
established the form of theatre then called sarugaku
noh. Zeami in turn earned the patronage of the
shogun Yoshimitsu, providing the support to refine
and expand the repertoire. Noh flourished as other
troupes adopted it, performing in the country, in
shrines and temples as well as in noble houses.
Noh artists drew on Japan’s rich history of literary
performance, creating plays based on historical tales,
on Buddhist and Shinto stories, and aesthetically
focused pieces that center on classic poetry and
poetic sentiment. During the long years of the
Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1868, the Edo period),
noh performance was reserved for the nobility and
the samurai class. Restricted from many changes,
the performances became refined and standardized,
deepening rather than expanding. Near the end of the
Edo era, merchants had already begun to patronize
noh performance, but the fall of the shogunate and
the loss of support from the nobility threatened the
survival of the art. Noh artists reached out to new
audiences, with women as well as men preparing
and mounting amateur productions.
One student of noh was the woodblock artist,
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, but it was his stepson and
student, Tsukioka Ko¯gyō (1869-1927), who began
focusing on noh prints after seeing a performance
of Shakkyō as a teenager. He began his career as a
pottery painter and continued to study painting along
with woodblock printmaking. As is the custom in
Japan, as he perfected his art under diferent masters,
he was awarded diferent names. Yoshitoshi gave
him the name Toshihisa, and after studying with the
painter and printmaker Ōgata Gekkō, he was named
Kōgyo. The painter Matsumoto Fūkō awarded
him the name Kohan and he finally took the name
Tsukioka Kōgyo when he assumed direction of his
stepfather’s school. During his lifetime, he produced
two multi-volume series of noh prints and a single
volume of 100 prints, as well as additional prints
and paintings of noh theatre – over 700 prints and
six dozen paintings on this subject alone. Clearly, he
knew his subject well, as he attended performances
of all major schools of noh. The dynamism of his
prints reflects this deep knowledge of the aesthetics
and conventions of performance, capturing the color
and movement of this stylized theatrical form.
Kōgyo’s daughter, Gyokusei, continued her father’s
work, graduating from the Women’s Specialist
School of Fine Arts at 21. Like her father, she attended
performances as a teenager and focused on prints of
noh performances. After Kōgyo’s death in 1927, she
finished a series of kyōgen prints. Kōgyo’s student
Matsuno Sōfū completed the last part of his final
volume of prints, the nohga taikan. Both of Kōgyo’s
successors completed additional work concerning
noh theatre. Gyokusei produced two additional
volumes of noh prints. In addition to the series of
noh prints, Matsuno Sōfū reportedly painted many
of the pine tree backdrops for noh stages after World
War II.
The publishing house of Daikoku Heikichi produced
the volumes and prints of both Kōgyo and Gyokusei.
A publishing house since the mid-18th century, the
family-owned concern sought to elevate its fortunes
in the wake of the Meiji restoration. The Meiji-era
heir to the business, taking the family name Matsuki
Heikichi, commissioned talented artists, carvers,
and printmakers to maintain the business in the
modern era. A clever businessman, he also produced
advertising for the company, featuring an Edo-era
print peddler. It was Heikichi’s interest in promoting
noh that allowed so many volumes of prints to come
to market, contributing to the popularization and
survival of the art.
The Noh Prints of Tsukioka Ko¯gyo
p
r
ints
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At first glance, some noh masks may seem plain. Yet
part of the artistry in a mask lies in understanding the
play of light and how the tilt of the mask can create
a wealth of expressions. This is as true of the quiet
woman’s mask as it is of the wrathful demon’s mask.
Subtle changes in expression can be seen when the
mask is at rest if one looks at the mask from a variety
of angles. These masks come alive in performance.
Those who follow noh portrayals sometimes speak
of being able to see a mask “breathe” in a masterful
performance.
The masks of noh have only a few main categories,
but today there are over 200 diferent types in use.
Most masks are not associated with a specific play
but can be used for similar characters in diferent
plays. The ko-omote mask, for example, depicts a
young woman and can be worn in many diverse roles.
A demon mask like hannya could be worn in any of
several plays that center on the anger of a woman
betrayed. Diferent schools may use variations of the
hannya mask, with small but meaningful diferences
in color, features, or expression. A few specialty
masks exist, used only for a single play. The okina
masks – hakushijō and kokushijō – are used only in
performance of Okina. The mask for Ikkaku Sennin,
an Indian deity born from the womb of a doe, features
a single horn on his forehead and is only used in the
play of the same name.
Over the long period of the development of noh, the
features of masks became refined and prescribed.
Small diferences in masks carried significance –
a slightly upturned mouth rather than horizontal,
tendrils of stray hair, or the precise shape of the eyes.
Master carvers established standards centuries ago,
and now apprentices learn to make the mask without
deviating from the specified form. The art of carving
consists of perfectly replicating the mask’s form.
Carved from Japanese cypress (hinoki), the master
makes the first cut of the block, sometimes doing the
rough cut before turning it over to apprentices. Mask
carvers do not use sandpaper in creating masks.
The mask maker not only carves the piece but also
finishes it and paints the details.
The backs of masks often have marks of the mask
maker or additional details such as the mask name.
Mask makers work to ensure an appropriate fit on
the performer in shaping the back of the mask. The
cavity behind the mouth opening creates a resonator
for the performer’s voice, giving it a unique sound
as it is projected through the wood. The small eyes,
some maintain, allow the performer to focus more
fully on the role. Through these small apertures,
performers sight on the pillars of the noh stage to
orient themselves.
In noh, the main performer (or shite) will choose
the mask or masks for any given role, according to
the conventions of his performance tradition, the
masks his family owns, or those he can borrow, and,
finally, considering his interpretation of the role.
Prior to beginning the performance, the shite retires
from the bustle of backstage rooms into the mirror
room. He dresses with assistance, then pauses in
contemplation with the mask before putting it on
and assuming the character. Once the mask is in
place, the performer enters the stage. The finest of
performers make the strict stylization of movement
and voice their own, giving expression to the mask as
if it is their own face. A master can breathe startling
new life into a role, inspiring those who follow this
traditional art form.
Noh Masks for Performance
masks
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Hagoromo 2010.338.A
A fisherman finds a length of beautiful cloth woven with feathers. He intends to take
it home with him, but is confronted by a celestial maiden who claims it as her own.
He ofers to do return it if she will dance for him. The exchange is made and the angel
dances up to the heavens. Designs of feathers appear on the robe of the costume as
well as in the headdress.
Suzuki Shuho
One of a pair of screens - Scene from the Noh Play "Hagaromo" in Orange Kimono, Taisho period
black lacquer wood frame with green silk brocade border. Ink and color on rice paper
63 ½ x 55 ½ in. (161.3 x 141 cm)
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.338.A
Pair of
Two-Fold
Screens
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Okina 2010.338.B
Okina holds a unique place in noh as the first piece performed each year in theatres
and the oldest piece in the repertoire. This screen shows the central figure framed by
the pine tree painted at the back of noh stages. The play is a ritual celebration and the
Okina figure dances for peace and prosperity in the land. Additional prints and masks
from this performance are included in this exhibit.
Suzuki Shuho
One of a pair of screens - Scene from the Noh Play "Okina" Holding a Fan,Taisho period
black lacquer wood frame with green silk brocade border. Ink and color on rice paper.
63 ½ x 55 ½ in. (161.3 x 141 cm)
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.338.B
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During a period of great transition in Japan, when the feudal system was abolished
and the country moved into the 20th century, the existence of traditional arts once
supported by the nobility and samurai classes was seriously threatened. The survival of
noh depended on finding new patrons and enhancing its popularity in this new society.
Daikokuya, a publishing house of woodblock prints, aided in this by commissioning works
on noh theatre from artists such as Tsukioka Kōgyo. Kōgyo was a prolific artist and like
the publisher Heikichi Matsuki of Daikokuya, also a patron of noh. Their collaboration
resulted in a remarkable record of noh performance at the turn of the century, which
played a part in the popularization and preservation of this art. The album displayed
here is one of a set of five albums in Kōgyo’s Illustrations of Noh Plays series.
Preface
to the
Album
Table of contents, 2009.258
Kōgyō printed imaginative tables of contents for his three volumes of noh prints. In
this, three kimono airing on a a suspended pole form the basis for his table of contents.
Reading from the right, the first and smallest kimono has the title of the volume, Nōgaku
zue (能楽図絵) or Illustrations of Noh Performance. On the other two kimono, Kōgyō has
listed the titles of the prints in the volume.
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Album cover, 2009.258
The front of the volume of prints is silk over paper board. The label lists the title,
Nōgakuzue (能楽図絵 in contemporary Japanese) or Illustrations of Noh Performance,
followed by Kōgyo’s name (耕漁).
Album, Publisher’s page, 2009.258
The Daikokuya Publishing House advertised as having been in business since 1764,
passing on the family name of Matsuki Heikichi to the head of the business. During
the Meiji era, the house commissioned Kōgyo’s prints of noh performance. The left
side shows the business information, address and a 4-digit phone number with English
advertising to appeal to foreign visitors. The Japanese is read right. The trademark on
the right side of the page was used in an 1890 advertising flyer for Daikokuya. It depicts
an Edo-era print seller, carrying a box of prints on his back. The side of the box refers
to Yoshiwara, the entertainment quarter of Edo, and the pictures of beautiful women
he is selling.
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Orokogata
Orokogata, The Oroko Seal. 2009.258 depicts the Regent Hōjō Tokimasa’s journey to Enoshima
to worship the deity Benzaiten (Benten, or Sarasvatī in Sanskrit) who is associated with water and
with serpent deities. He meets a woman there who reveals herself to be the deity. As Benzaiten,
she dances for Tokimasa and bestows a three-triangle (oroko) symbol of serpent scales for him
to use as the Hōjō family crest.
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Tsukioka Kōgyo
Orokogata, 1901-1902
album of 52 leaves, handmade woodblock prints on paper,
with covers of padded silk and board
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the
Museum’s 50th Anniversary
9 ½ x 14 ½ in. (24.1 x 36.8 cm)
2009.258
Two Pages
from the Album
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Tsukioka Kōgyo
Tanikō (Valley Rites), 1901-1902
album of 52 leaves, handmade woodblock prints on paper, with covers of padded silk and board
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
9 ½ x 14 ½ in. (24.1 x 36.8 cm)
2009.258

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Tanikō (Valley Rites) 2009.258
This unusual noh play depicts mountain priests on
a journey with a young boy who has come to pray
for his mother. The boy grows ill and according to
their practice the priests toss him of the side of the
mountain. However, the piety of the boy’s mentor
brings a god to restore the boy to life.
Two Pages
from the Album
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Okina
The oldest noh in current performance, the Okina performance and masks predate
the development of sarugaku noh, containing elements of its ritual origins. The three
dance pieces that are collectively termed Okina are usually the first noh of the New
Year. Senzai opens the performance, danced without mask, followed by the Okina
performer in a white mask, dancing for peace and prosperity. This is followed by the
vigorous Sanbasō, initially danced without a mask, then utilizing the black mask. The
white masks are termed Hakushijō, (“haku” means white) while the black are called
Kokushijō (“koku” means black). Distinct from other noh masks, the round face with
its deep furrows, merry eyes and gap-toothed smile are typical of Okina masks. They
are the only masks in noh that are jointed and have rabbit-fur tufts where eyebrows
might be painted.
Okina dance with attendants and mask boxes 2009.283, shows the second of these
three dances, with assembled musicians and attendants who have carried in boxes
holding the masks, which are near-sacred objects.
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Tsukioka Kōgyo
Okina, from the series One Hundred Noh Plays 1922-1925
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.283
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Kamisaka Sekka
Scene from Okina
woodblock print
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.212
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Okina performer dancing, 2010.212 gives a closer look at the Okina figure, with his jolly
mask and festive attire based on traditional court costume.
Hakushijō, white Okina mask. 2010.329. This mask represents the god of peace and
tranquility, worn in the second, more sedate section of the Okina performance. On
the mask, the rabbit fur tufts have worn away, although the plugs are still evident. The
joint cords at the corners of the mouth show the age of the mask. The beard is typical
of this mask.
Sanbasō segment of the Okina performance, 2009.259 shows the third and final
segment of Okina, as the Sanbasō figure dances first without a mask, then with the
asymetrical black Okina mask 2010.328 or the later black Okina mask, 2010.326. At
the end of the dance, he is given a bell tree, dancing to dispel evil spirits.
Top:
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Okina (Sanbasō section), from the series Pictures of Noh Plays, 1899
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.259
Left:
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Hakushijō, Taisho period, 1912-1926
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
7 ¾ x 6 in. (19.7 x 15.2 cm)
210.329
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Kokushijō, black Okina mask. 2010.326, 2010.328.
The black mask, used for the final part of the Okina
performance, may represent fertile earth, as the
mask represents the god of the harvest. Mask
2010.326 has atypical tufts of rabbit hair whereas
most masks like this have implanted horsehair
eyebrows. The older mask, 2010.328, features
the asymmetry of other older masks, along with
exaggerated beard and mustache.
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask,Kokushijō, Taisho period, 1912-1926
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
7 ¾ x 6
3
⁄8 in. (19.7 x 15.6 cm)
2010.326
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Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Kokushijō, late Edo period, 1789-1868
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
7
3
⁄8 x 5
7
⁄8 in. (18.7 x 14.9 cm)
2010.328
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Seiōbo (Queen Mother of the West) 2009.262
A festive play that celebrates the Emperor’s reign,
as a woman presents him with a peach seed from
a tree that blooms once in three thousand years.
The woman reveals herself to be the Queen Mother
of West, an immortal being, radiant and dancing
in celebration. Gyokusei, the daughter of Kōgyo,
created this print.
Above:
Tsukioka Gyokusei
Seiōbo (Queen Mother of the West), 1897-1975
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in
honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.262
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Eboshi Ori, The Left-Folded Cap 2009.274
The young Yoshitsune, called Ushiwakamaru, has
escaped and asks a hatmaker to create a left-folded
cap for his disguise. He pays for the cap with his
sword, but the hatmaker’s wife recognizes it and
realizing this is the young lord, returns the sword to
him. Ushiwaka soon uses it to vanquish the terrible
bandit Kumasaka (pictured here). This is based on
legends of the Genji-Heike war.
Above:
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Eboshi Ori, The Left-Folded Cap, from
the series One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in
honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.274
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Funabenkei (Benkei in the Boat) 2009.281
The play tellsof the doomed flight of the Genji warrior
Yoshitsune and his retainer, Benkei. The beautiful
Lady Shizuka bids them farewell with a dance before
they cross the sea. In a stormy sea, they face the
ghost of the warrior Tomomori, who threatens the
boat, brandishing his halberd. However, the prayers
of the loyal Benkei vanquish the spirit. The warrior
Tomomori would wear a mask similar to 2010.320.
Suji Ayakashi. 2010.320. A mask of the ryō no
otoko type, the gold eyes and protruding veins on
the forehead express the supernatural nature of the
character. The mask would be used for a defeated
warrior like Tomomori in Funabenkei, 2009.281
Above left:
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Funabenkei (Benkei in the Boat), from the series One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.281

Above right:
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Suji Ayakashi (Ryō no otoko), late Edo period, 1789-1868
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 x 5¾ in. (20.3 x 14.6 cm)
2010.320
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Ataka 2009.270
Following the story of Funabenkei, this play recounts
the flight of Yoshitsune (portrayed by a child actor)
with his loyal retainer Benkei. Yoshitsune is disguised
as a porter and his retainers as mountain priests in
order to pass through a checkpoint barrier. Benkei’s
bravery and loyalty convince the commander of the
barrier to allow them to pass.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Ataka, from the series One Hundred Noh
Plays, 1922-1925
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor
of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.270
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Ohara Gokō (The Imperial Journey to Ohara) 2009.275
A former Emperor, now a Buddhist monk, travels to a retreat at Ohara to visit the
dowager Empress Kenrei. After her young son died during the Genji-Heike battle for
imperial succession, Kenrei became a nun to pray for her child’s soul. She painfully
recounts the final hours of her son’s life and the defeat of her clan.
Left detail and right hand page:
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Ohara Gokō (The Imperial
Journey to Ohara), from the series One
Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman
in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.275
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Michimori 2009.271
After the death of Taira no Michimori in the Genji-Heike war, his young, pregnant wife Kozaishō cast herself
into the sea. Years later, a priest prays at the site and encounters a fisherman and his wife in their fishing
vessel, shown in the print. They reveal themselves as the ghosts of the legendary couple, comparing their grief
to a Chinese hero and his wife (Hsian Yű and Yű-mê-Jê). Telling the priest their sad tale allows them to receive
enlightenment and pass from this world. A young nobleman’s mask would be used for Michimori and a young
woman’s mask would be used for Kozaishō.
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Imawaka. 2010.316. The mask depicts a young nobleman, his
expression sensitive with full lips, worried brow, and slightly
upturned mouth. The brow line and depressions near the bridge
of the nose give the mask a variety of possible expressions.
At the top of the forehead, a line of a nobleman’s cap can be
seen. This mask could be used for a young aristocrat, a doomed
warrior as in Michimori, or a deity.
Ko-omote. 2010.337. Ko-omote represents a young woman and
is one of the oldest styles of noh masks. Her oval face has the
fullness of youth, her red lips parted revealing the blackened
teeth, a mark of beauty. Almond-shaped eyes and a clear
gaze rest below a smooth forehead, where her eyebrows are
delicately brushed in. The mask is widely used in both major
roles and secondary roles representing young women, as in Take
no Yuki, print 2009.266.
Left hand page:
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Michimori, from the series One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th
Anniversary
2009.271
Upper right:
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Imawaka, late Edo - Meiji period, 1789-1912
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
7 ¾ x 5 ½ in. (19.7 x 14 cm)
2010.316

Lower right:
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Ko-omote, Showa period, 1926-1989
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 ¼ x 5 ¹⁄8 in. (21 x 13 cm)
2010.337

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Kōtei 2009.265
Based on the Chinese classic Song of
Everlasting Sorrow, this play centers
on the Emperor’s favorite, the beautiful
consort Yōkihi (Yang Guifei in Chinese),
who has fallen ill. The Emperor, assisted
by the spirit of Shōki, places a mirror
by her side to expel the demon causing
her illness. As he does so, the demon
appears to do battle, but is vanquished.
Yōhiki is played by a child actor.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Kōtei, from the series Pictures of Noh Plays, 1898
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the
Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.265
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Higaki (The Cypress Hedge) 2010.228 , 2009.264
An old woman who brings water to the temple daily tells a priest
of a lovely dancer who lived in a house surrounded by a cypress
hedge (higaki). She is the ghost of that young woman, living in
torment for her past transgressions. She dances for the priest,
reliving her past. 2010.228 gives a perspective of the staging,
with the priest sitting and listening to the woman’s story, while
2009.264 shows details of the costume and the mask of the
old woman.
Above:
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Higaki (The Cypress Hedge)
woodblock print
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.228
Left:
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Higaki (The Cypress Hedge), from the series One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.264

35
Sōshi Arai Komachi (Komachi’s Paper-washing) 2009.269
The beautiful and clever Ono no Komachi competes in a poetry contest with a final poem
composed overnight. Her competitor finds Komachi’s poem and copies it into an older book
in an attempt to discredit her. Before the Emperor, Komachi examines the copy, then demands
water be brought in. The newly written poem washes away and the Emperor deems her the
winner of the contest.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Sōshi Arai Komachi (Komachi’s
Paper-washing), from the series One
Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman
in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.269
36
Sekidera Komachi (Komachi at Seki Temple) 2010.195
Ono no Komachi, now an ancient woman, lives in a hut near
a temple, Sekidera. Priests come to beg Komachi for a poem
during Tanabata, a celebration when trees are decorated with
poem strips. Komachi recounts her court life, sings of the
enduring beauty of poetry, and finally dances as the temple
bells toll the coming dawn. The framework here represents
Komachi’s hut, decorated with poem strips.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Sekidera Komachi (Komachi at Seki Temple)
woodblock print
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.195
37
Adachigahara / Kurozuka
(The Plain of Adachi or The Black Mound) 2009.273
Travelling priests beg an old woman for a night’s lodging. When she leaves to collect
firewood, they look around her home and discover that she is a fierce man-eating
demon. The woman returns, now the enraged demon, and chases the priests. Their
prayers save them, however, and the demon vanishes. This play employs a version of
the hannya mask, 2010.322.
Hannya, 2010.322 Used for women who have transformed into demons, at first
glance, this startling mask seems pure demon with the gold or gilt horns, wide gri-
mace filled with gold teeth, and large gold eyes. Yet the mask retains the basic outline
of a woman’s face, with the eyebrows painted high on the smooth forehead. The brow
line emphasizes the misery of the woman. The mask has a distinct centerline from
the red V at the top of the crown to the V on the chin. The woman in Adachigahara /
Kurozuka would wear such a mask; the mask in Dōjōji would bear similarities but often
the performer chooses a mask of a darker hue.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Adachigahara / Kurozuka
(The Plain of Adachi or The Black Mound),
from the seriesOne Hundred Noh Plays,
1922-1925
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman
in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.273
38
Dōjōji (Dōjō Temple) 2009.267
A dancer appears during the rededication of a bell, but as she dances it is clear she
is actually the ghost of a demon-woman who killed a young priest. The large bell
suspended above the stage drops on the dancer and as it is lifted the demon appears.
The dancer wears a mask similar to 2010.337, and the demon wears a version of the
hannya mask, 2010.322, as displayed in the upper right of the print.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Dōjōji (Dōjō Temple), from the series Pictures of Noh Plays, 1897
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.267
39
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Ko-omote, Showa period, 1926-1989
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 ¼ x 5 ¹⁄8 in. (21 x 13 cm)
2010.337
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Hannya, Showa period, 1926-1989
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 ¼ x 6 ¾ in. (21 x 17.1 cm)
2010.322
Hannya, 2010.322 Used for women who have transformed into demons, at first
glance, this startling mask seems pure demon with the gold or gilt horns, wide gri-
mace filled with gold teeth, and large gold eyes. Yet the mask retains the basic outline
of a woman’s face, with the eyebrows painted high on the smooth forehead. The brow
line emphasizes the misery of the woman. The mask has a distinct centerline from
the red V at the top of the crown to the V on the chin. The demon character in Dōjōji
would wear a mask similar to this, but often the performer chooses a hannya mask of
a darker hue.
40
Ama (The Pearl Diver) 2009.272
An ofcial visiting Shido Bay encounters a woman
who speaks of a pearl diver. To ensure her son’s
inheritance, the diver loses her life recovering a jewel
from the bay. She is the ghost of the diver, the ofcial
is her son, and she gives him a letter requesting
prayers for her salvation. She returns as a Dragon
Woman and dances in celebration of their reunion.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Ama (The Pearl Diver), from the
series One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman
in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.272

41
Kagetsu 2009.261
A child is abducted, then sold to a temple as a serving boy (kasshiki) to
the priests, but grows to become a celebrated dancer. Called Kagetsu, one
day as he dances for a travelling priest, he draws his bow to shoot a bird,
but thinks better of it as a Buddhist. The priest realizes the boy is his long-
lost son and the two are joyfully reunited. This print is by Gyokusei, the
daughter of Kōgyo. The boy wears mask 2010.317.
Tsukioka Gyokusei
Scene from Kagetsu, 1897-1975
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.261
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Kasshiki, mid-late Edo period, 1704-1868
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 ¼ x 5
3
⁄16 in. (21 x 13.2 cm)
2010.317
Kasshiki. 2010.317. As the face of an adolescent
boy, the mask bears some resemblance to many
women’s masks. The gingko pattern of hair on the
forehead marks him as a temple serving boy. The
face has the roundness of youth, with full lips, and
a faint smile. The play Kagetsu would use this mask.
42
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Tōsen
woodblock print
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.219
43
Tōsen 2010.219
Sokei, a Chinese naval ofcer captured in battle, was
drawn into servitude in Japan where he raises a new
family. After 13 years, his children from China find
him and want to bring him home, but the landlord
initially refuses to allow Sokei’s Japanese children to
leave. Seeing Sokei’s anguish, however, he relents
and the group sets sail for China.
44
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Toroibune (The Bird-scaring Boat), from the series Pictures of Noh Plays, 1897
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.278
45
Torioibune (The Bird-scaring Boat) 2009.278
While a lord is away, his noble wife and son are
bullied into doing menial labor, using a boat to scare
birds from the fields. Returning to find them at this
task, the lord threatens to kill the bullying servant.
However, the wife pleads with the lord to spare his
life as it was the lord’s absence that put his wife and
heir in such a position.
46
Take no Yuki 2009.266
Mistreated by his stepmother, a boy sets of to
visit his mother but is soon called back. In the cold
bamboo forest, shut out of his father’s house, the
boy dies. His mother and sister discover him and
mourn the boy near the snow-covered bamboo. The
father joins them and in response to their prayers to
the Buddha, the boy is restored to life.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Take no Yuki
(Snow on Bamboo), from the series
One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman
in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.266

47
Kokaji (The Swordsmith) 2010.194
The swordsmith Munechika receives an imperial
order to produce a sword. Absent a second sword-
smith for such an undertaking, Munechika goes to
pray. A boy appears and assures him the fox deity
will assist him. The boy transforms into a fox deity
and assists Munechika in the successful forging of
the sword.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Kokaji (The Swordsmith)
woodblock print
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.194

48
Ikkaku Sennin 2009.260
Ikkaku Sennin, born of a deer and possessing supernatural
powers, has sealed the dragons of rain in a cave. To break the
drought, the Emperor sends a beautiful woman to seduce
Sennin. After drinking and watching the woman dance (pic-
tured here), Sennin passes out. The dragons are freed and
Sennin wakes to rain, his powers now gone. The mask
2010.329 is used only for this play.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Ikkaku Sennin, from the series
One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of
the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.260
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Ikkaku Sennin, Taisho period, 1912-1926
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
7 ¾x 5 ½ in. (19.7 x 14 cm)
2010.327
Ikkaku sennin. 2010.327. Ikkaku Sennin is a supernatural being
born of a deer and a woman, used only in the play of the same
name as in print 2009.260. The shape and facial features bear
similarities to men’s masks. The vermilion color ringing the
gold eyes is repeated in the furrows of the face, enhancing the
indicators of Ikkaku’s power.
49
Ukai (The Cormorant Fisher) 2009.268
Travelling monks meet an old cormorant fisherman,
and urge him to cease taking life as a fisherman.
After miming cormorant fishing, the man reveals
he is a ghost, as his own life was taken for his acts
against Buddhist teachings. The priests pray for the
man’s soul and the lord of the dead appears, telling
them that their prayers have saved the man’s soul.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Ukai
(The Cormorant Fisher), from the series
One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman
in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.268
50
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Nue
woodblock print
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.207
Nue 2010.207
Nue draws on the legend of a monster
that caused an Emperor to fall ill. Nue
was hunted and killed, then sealed in
a dugout in the bottom of a river. As a
ghost, it appears to a travelling priest
first as a boatman and later in its original
form. The priest agrees to its plea to pray
for its salvation even as Nue sinks back
into the depths.
51
52
Momijigari (Maple Viewing) 2009.280
Taira no Koremochi is hunting in the
mountains in the autumn and happens
upon a beautiful noblewoman and her
party who have come to enjoy the fall
colors. He drinks with them until he falls
asleep. In his dream, a deity gives him
a sword, revealing that the woman is
in fact the demon of the mountain. He
wakes to a battle with the demon and
vanquishes it.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Momijigari (Maple Viewing), from the series
Pictures of Noh Plays, 1897
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the
Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.280
53
54
Tsuchigumo (The Ground Spider) 2010.225
A monstrous spider unsuccessfully tries to kill the demon-slaying lord, Raikō, who sends his
soldiers to seek it out and destroy it. Finding the spider in a mound, they attack. The spider casts
its web, but eventually is vanquished. The performance is notable for the streams of paper thrown
by the brightly costumed “spider” during the battle.
55
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Tsuchigumo (The Ground Spider)
woodblock print
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.225
56
Kasuga ryūjin (The Dragon God of Kasuga) 2010.221
Kasuga ryūjin is based on the tale of the monk Myōe. Planning a pilgrimage, the monk stops at Kasuga Shrine
to bid farewell. There he finds an attendant who persuades him to give up his plans. In the second part of the
play, the attendant is revealed as the Dragon God, who dances in celebration before Myōe.
57
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Kasuga ryūjin (The Dragon God of Kasuga)
woodblock print
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.221
58
Ryōko: The Dragon and the Tiger
2010.206.B.TMS1 (tiger) and
2010.206.A.TMS1 (dragon)
Monks on a pilgrimage in China meet
an old woodcutter and his young com-
panion. In this area, they tell the monks,
a tiger lives in a bamboo forest and a
dragon lives in the clouds of a near-
by high mountain. When the dragon
descends from the clouds, tiger and
dragon do battle. The men leave and the
monks hide behind a boulder and watch
as the dragon descends, the tiger comes
out, and a furious battle ensues.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Ryōko: The Dragon and the Tiger
woodblock print diptych
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.206.A-B
59
60
Shakkyō (The Stone Bridge), Red-wigged and white wigged
lions 2009.282.
Shakkyō (The Stone Bridge), Red-wigged dancing lion
2010.208.
A brilliantly colorful noh for the end of a day’s performance,
Shakkyō tells the story of a famous monk on a pilgrimage.
At a narrow stone bridge, he encounters a boy who tells him
that beyond the bridge is the Pure Land, then disappears. As
the monk waits, a lion dances across the bridge toward him,
carrying bouquets of peonies.
2009.282 shows the Monk with two dancing lions and stands
of peonies. 2010.208 shows a closer view of a performance
with one lion.
Above:
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Scene from Shakkyō (The Stone Bridge), from the series
Pictures of Noh Plays, 1897
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of
the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.282

Right hand page:
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Shakkyō (The Stone Bridge)
woodblock print
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.208
61
62
63
Dondarō, Mr. Dumbtarō 2009.277
Mr. Dumbtarō returns to the capital after a three-
year journey, anxious to see his wife and his mistress.
But both women have taken new husbands and
refuse to see him. Dumbtarō decides to enter the
monastery to save face. However, the women have a
change of heart and convince him to stay, spending
half a month with each woman. In repentance for
their initial refusal of him, the women carry him back
to the capital in their arms.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Kyōgen scene from Dondarō, Mr. Dumbtarō, from the series
Pictures of Noh Plays, 1897
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of
the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.277
Kyo¯gen Prints
64
Saru zatō 2009.279
A monkey trainer happens upon a beautiful woman and her blind husband.
He convinces the woman to run away with him, substituting his monkey
for the blind man’s wife. In kyōgen, a woman is indicated by a white cap
with trailing fabric along the sides. The trainer wears no cap; the blind man
wears the brocade cap. A child actor often plays the monkey and would
wear a saru mask
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Kyōgen scene from Saruzatō,
from the series Pictures of Noh Plays, 1897
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of
the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.279
65
Saru. 2010.321. Monkeys appear often in kyōgen, both for
comic efect and because these characters are excellent roles
for child performers. The round, bright eyes and open-mouthed
grin make this a happy, mischevious monkey. The monkey in
Saru zatō 2009.279 would use such a mask.
Unknown, Japan
Kyōgen mask, Saru, late Edo period, 1789-1868
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 ¹⁄8 x 6 in. (20.6 x 15.2 cm)
2010.321
66
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Kyōgen scene from Kogarakasa (The Umbrella Sutra)
woodblock print
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.232
67
Kogarakasa (The Umbrella Sutra)
2010.232
Having built a hut for a priest, one of a group
of villagers goes to search out a candidate.
He happens upon a young novice and,
mistaking him for a priest, returns with
him. The novice has a gambling problem
combined with a limited knowledge of
Buddhist rites. He performs an “umbrella
sutra” for visiting pilgrims, making of with
their oferings.
68
Fuku no Kami, The God of
Good Fortune 2009.276
In this kyōgen, two men paying their respects at a
shrine on New Year’s are startled to find the God of
Fortune before them. Amid much merriment and
drinking of delicious sake, the deity talks to them of
true wealth, not gold, silver, rice, or gifts, but the love
of husband and wife, of neighbors and benevolence.
After the celebration, the two leave the shrine
laughing merrily.
Ebisu 2010.331. Ebisu, one of the Seven Gods of
Good Fortune, is a patron god of merchants
and fishermen. His appearance in Fuku no Kami
(2009.276) is typical of this wise and good-natured
deity. His round face, smiling mouth, and eyes
crinkled in laughter express his delight. The pendu-
lous ear lobes reveal the wisdom of this god. The
mask is often carved with an open mouth.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Kyōgen scene from Fuku no Kami, The God of Good Fortune, from the series Pictures of Noh Plays, 1897
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.276
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Ebisu, Taisho period, 1912-1926
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.331
69
70
Noh practice performance, 2010.218, gives a view of a noh stage
as a performer practices. While the main performer practices
the dance, two colleagues chant in place of the chorus. Just as
in contemporary theaters, pillars support a roof over the stage
and along the bridgeway. White gravel surrounds the stage,
with three pines placed along the bridgeway. Another pine is
painted on the upstage wall. The stage and this scene would be
familiar to anyone who practices or studies noh today.
Tsukioka Kōgyo
Picture of Noh Stage
woodblock print
Gift of Roger Dunn
2010.218
71
Ladies viewing a noh performance, 2009.263
When the strict class system fell in 1868 in Japan, noh professionals needed to
develop new audiences to replace the noble patrons of the Edo period. Merchants had
increasingly become involved in noh toward the end of the era, but now professionals
reached out even further to popularize the art, giving lessons and sparking interest
in performance. This print shows several women watching a performance, possibly
students of the art with their utaibon (or song books) open as they follow along.
Giving lessons continues to sustain noh professionals and students with open books
on their laps is a common sight at noh performances. The print is attributed to Ogata
Gekkō, a mentor of Tsukioka Kōgyo.
Ogata Gekko
Viewing a Noh play, from the series
Catalog of Ladies' Customs, 1897
woodblock print on paper
Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman
in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary
2009.263
72
Yamamba. 2010.318. A specialty mask, Yamamba is used only in the play
of that name. Yamamba is a solitary old woman living the mountains, filled
with mystical power. The mask reveals this through the gold and scarlet
eyes, two rows of golden teeth, and pieces of hair in disarray. Strong cheeks
display her forceful nature. The alternating colors in the eyebrows are a
hallmark of this mask. Ancient and powerful, Yamamba can be interpreted
as a benevolent spirit or a restless soul, wandering the mountains.
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Yamamba, Meiji period, 1868-1912
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 ¼ x 5
5
⁄16 in. (21 x 13.5 cm)
2010.318
73
Yoroboshi. 2010.336. Used only for the play of the same name, Yoroboshi
depicts an adolescent boy thrown out of his home. The small slits of eyes
indicate the boy is blind. The shape of the face indicates a refined character,
as do the delicate eyebrows. The drawn strands of hair and shape of the
face are similar to masks of other adolescents.
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Yoroboshi, Taisho period, 1912-1926
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 ¼ x 5 in. (21 x 12.7 cm)
2010.336

74
Yase otoko, sometimes called Ryō no Yase otoko. 2010.323.
This mask represents the spirit of a man sufering in hell for
the sins of his life. The gilt brass rings in his sunken eyes, the
red tint of the whites, and the sharp lines of the emaciated face
reveal a profound torment of spirit. Masks in this group could be
used for spirits coming back to tell of unrequited love or hunters
expressing regret for their sin of taking life.
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Yase otoko (Ryō no Yase otoko), Showa period, 1926-1989
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 ¹⁄8 x 5 ½ in. (20.6 x 14 cm)
2010.323
75
Akubo-jō 2010.324. The high cheekbones, slightly bucktooth-
appearance, and drooping eyes of this mask give it a versitility
in characterization. Akobujō would be worn by the foreign
magistrate in Tōsen (2010.219), a celebrated priest, or a father
grieving for a lost child. Horsehair plugs on chin and head
complement the painted mustache
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Akubo-jō, late Edo - Meiji period, 1789-1912
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8
3
⁄8 x 6 ¼ in. (21.3 x 15.9 cm)
2010.324
76
Ishio-jō. 2010.325. This Edo-period mask
can be used for spirits of Shintō deities,
often appearing in the second half of
a play as the spirit of a sacred tree or
shrine deity. The downturned eyes, high
cheekbones, and deep wrinkles give
the mask an air of solemnity, while the
upturned mouth indicates benevolence.
The hair on noh masks was commonly a
plug of horsehair.
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Ishio-jō, mid Edo period, 1704-1789
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 ¼ x 5 ¾ in. (21 x 14.6 cm)
2010.325
77
Oto. 2010.330. This kyōgen masks represents a jolly, adult woman. The
dimpled cheeks, cheery eyes, and happy smile rest on a round face,
considered a comic trait in Japanese culture. She carries some conventions
of beauty: pink circles on her cheeks, blackened teeth, and short brows
painted on the forehead.
Unknown, Japan
Kyōgen mask, Oto, Taisho - Showa period, 1912-1989
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 ¼ x 6 ¼ in. (21 x 15.9 cm)
2010.330
78
Oji. 2010.319. A kyōgen mask used in comical performances for old men,
it depicts a toothless old uncle. The exaggerated eyebrows are plugs of
horsehair. Remnants of a beard are painted on the chin.
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Oji, Meiji period, 1868-1912
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 x 5 ¾ in. (20.3 x 14.6 cm)
2010.319
79
Buaku. 2010.332. This kyōgen mask is used in the play of the same name as
well as for other plays requiring a demon or demi-god. The large nose and
upturned eyes give this version of Buaku a more comic than fierce look. The
grimace filled with teeth mimics the closed mouth of the serious noh mask
ōbeshimi, and many of the plays featuring this mask poke fun at the more
serious noh.
Unknown, Japan
Kyōgen mask, Buaku, late Edo period, 1789-1868
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
7 ¾ x 6 ¾ in. (19.7 x 17.1 cm)
2010.332
80
Usofuki side glance, 2010.333, Usofuki looking forward 2010.334. In
Japanese, “uso” means “to lie” while “fuku” indicates wind or sometimes
whistling. The gold eyes and extremes of expression indicate a non-human,
though in this case they do not have supernatural powers. The mask can be
used for animals, secondary characters and in one play, for warring fruits
and vegetables. The mask’s nickname is “mosquito.”
Above left:
Unknown, Japan
Kyōgen mask, Usofuki, Showa period, 1926-1989
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
7 ½ x 6 ½ in. (19.1 x 16.5 cm)
2010.333

Above right:
Unknown, Japan
Kyōgen mask, Usofuki, late Edo period, 1789-1868
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 x 5 ¾ in. (20.3 x 14.6 cm)
2010.334
81
Kitsune. 2010.335. The fox appears in Japanese folklore with
magical powers, sometimes as a woman. This particular fox
mask has an almost malevolent efect, with the fierce, golden-
eyed glare, the tufts of hair, furrowed brow, and mouth full of
teeth. The fox often attempts to pass as human and reveals itself
in the second part of the play.
Unknown, Japan
Kyōgen mask, Kitsune, Taisho period, 1912-1926
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 x 5 ½ in. (20.3 x 14 cm)
2010.335
Phoenix Art Museum
1625 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004-1685
www.phxart.org
All masks photos by Ken Howie
All prints photos (except 2009.281, 2009.266 & 2009.269) by Mike Lundgren.
One Mask: Three Angles
Unknown, Japan
Noh mask, Ko-omote, Showa period, 1926-1989
painted wood
Gift of Roger Dunn
8 ¼ x 5 ¹⁄8 in. (21 x 13 cm)
2010.337

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