akobujou 阿古父尉
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Also written as 阿瘤尉. A noh mask *noumen 能面, representing a dignified, old man who is usually from a foreign country or exotic place or thought to be eccentric. Wide smooth forehead, round raised cheeks, and delicate wrinkles that curve upward from the outer edges of the eyes to the ears, all lend the mask an air of quiet kindness. Painted moustache and eyebrows and the absence of lower teeth lend the mask dignity. It is worn in the first act of plays set in China that feature a gaku 楽 dance in the second act, as in SANSHOU 三笑, TOUSEN 唐舟, and TENKO 天鼓. Also used in the first act of plays in which a *kojou 小尉 would be too dignified, such as URIN-IN 雲林院 and plays in which the main actor represents the spirit of a tree, like YUGYOUYANAGI 遊行柳. The Maeda 前田 household own an akobujou with a gold lacquer insignia reading Fukurai 福来 (14c to 15c carver; *jissaku 十作) and a stamp of the Houshou 宝生 actor Shigeyoshi. Variants include a 'bearded' mask with implanted hair around the lips, hige akobujou 髭阿古父尉, and a combination of maijou 舞尉 and akobujou, known as koshimakijou 腰巻尉.

*joumen 尉面 

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