Noh Mask: Dōji

Noh Mask: Dōji
Color on wood (hinoki cypress); mask length 20.7 cm; Muromachi period, 16th century; Gift of the Ii Family

One of the masterworks in the Ii family collection, this mask represents an immortal being (sennin) as a handsome boy, symbolizing perpetual youth. Strands of hair over the forehead, crescent-shaped eyebrows, and almond eyes give the figure a glow not quite of this world. The rough-hewn back contrasts with the meticulous shaping of the front, a feature of older masks. The back has the kiwame (authentication certificate) inscription in gold paint (kindei) of the noh performer Hōshō Tayū, who identified the mask-maker as “Himi.”

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