HANNYA DEMON MASK LARGE LEFT CHEST PANEL

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HANNYA DEMON MASK LARGE LEFT CHEST PANEL

80.00

HANNYA DEMON MASK LARGE LEFT CHEST PANEL

41CM X 51CM FRAMED ORIGINAL HAND PAINTED

The Hannya 般若 mask is used in many noh and kyōgen Japanese plays, as well as in Shinto ritual kagura dances.

The Hannya mask portrays the souls of women who have become demons due to obsession or jealousy (similar to the Buddhist concept of a Hungry ghost). Plays in which a person may wear the hannya mask include Aoi no Ue and Dōjōji; its use in these two plays, two of the most famous of the Noh repertoire, and its distinctive and frightening appearance make it one of the most recognizable Noh masks.

The Hannya mask is said to be demonic and dangerous but also sorrowful and tormented, displaying the complexity of human emotions. When the actor looks straight ahead, the mask appears frightening and angry; when tilted slightly down, the face of the demon appears to be sorrowful, as though crying. The oldest hannya mask is dated 1558.

Hannya masks appear in various skin tones: a white mask indicates a woman with a refined character, a red mask depicts a less refined character (like the spirit of peasant girl seen in Dōjōji), and the darkest red depicts true demons (revealed after appearing as women, as in Momijigari and Kurozuka.)

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