fudou 不動
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Noh mask *noumen 能面, representing *Fudou Myouou 不動明王 (Sk; Acalavidyaraya), one of the five guardian figures of Esoteric Buddhism mikkyou 密教. The scowling eyebrows, sharply upturned eyes with metal eyeballs, golden fangs against a bright red tongue in a snarling mouth and the taut face muscles all express the fearsome aspects of fudou. While the eight graphically incised curly locks are painted yellow, the face itself is cobalt blue. This mask is used for the role of fudou in the play CHOUBUKU SOGA 調伏曽我 where the guardian appears to promise that revenge will be properly carried out. The play remains in the repertory of the Kongou 金剛, Kita 喜多, and Houshou 宝生 schools. While the Houshou school has a fine example by the carver Koubou 弘法, the Kongou treasures one with an inscription date of 1594 known as fudou with flesh, nikutsuki fudou 肉付不動, because the resin marks on the back appear as if the actor's flesh has stuck to the mask. Various legends ascribe this mask to being a direct copy of a statue of fudou. Other variations include a large-size mask oofudou 大不動, one with prominent fangs, kibafudou 牙不動, and a weeping mask, nakifudou 泣不動. For the plays KUZU 国栖 and ARASHIYAMA 嵐山 another mask copied from a Buddhist deity, zaou 蔵王, can be used. The angry look, and wide open eyes, bumps between the eyebrows, large ears and curly hair seem modeled on the statue of *Zaou Gongen 蔵王権現 at Kinpusen 金峯山 in *Yoshino 吉野.


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