deigan 泥眼
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Gold eyes. A noh mask *noumen 能面 representing a mature woman who carries within her the seeds of supernatural transformation. The gold-painted eyes symbolize her supernatural aspect and are associated in Buddhist theology with the highest of the five types of vision gogen 五眼, representing enlightenment on the level of a Buddha. The open curve at the outer corners of the lips, the white coloring, and the gold trim to the teeth set this mask apart from other women's masks. Deigan's reserved and dignified expression is ambiguous: her transformation can be good or evil, depending on the play in which she appears. Originally the mask was created by Tatsuemon 龍右衛門 (14c; see *jissaku 十作) to represent a dragon-king's daughter in the second act of AMA 海人 (The diver) or TAIMA 当麻, but in the late Muromachi period, the fearsome aspects of the mask suggested its use for the living spirit of the jealous Lady Rokujou 六条 in the first act of AOI NO UE 葵上. Good examples include a Muromachi period deigan in a private collection in Tokyo and masks with inscriptions by Kanze 観世, Kawachi 河内 and Echi 越智 in the Tokyo National Museum.

*onnamen 女面

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