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gigakumen@y
KEY WORD :@art history / sculptures
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Masks worn for performances of *gigaku y, now lost temple processions and mimed skits with musical accompaniment. Most extant masks date from the 6-8c, with a few copies made as late as the 13c. The largest and most sculpturesque of Japanese masks, gigakumen are often as much as four times the size of a human head and so constructed as to cover not only the face, but also the crown of the head. The sculpture, either in wood (usually paulownia kiri , or older examples in camphor kusu ) or in dry lacquer *kanshitsu , tends to be vigorous, with bold expressions of great variety. The prominent noses and deep set features of many masks are reminiscent of Persian or Indian faces. This suggests the possible origins of gigaku performances in Central Asia. A few of the masks, such as *Chidou or *Shishiko tq, probably were employed only in the procession, while the others (Buddhist figures, men, and one woman) portrayed roles in the skits. In Japan, masks were often produced in sets of 13 or 14 different types (probably for a complete performance) at one time. Most of the over 200 gigaku masks that remain today are housed at Houryuuji @, the Houryuuji treasure house at Tokyo Ntional Museum, Toudaiji 厛, Nara, and the *Shousouin q@ Repository. Those connected with Houryuuji are on the whole older. Among the various styles of masks in the Shousouin those (in paulownia and dry lacquer) made specially for the gala performances staged at the Eye Opening Ceremony Daibutsu kaigen kuyou 啧Jዟ{ at Toudaiji in 752 are the most sophisticated in modeling. Inscriptions on the masks indicate carver, date and use. Those made by sculptors of Buddhist statues *busshi t, such as Enkinshi ώt, Kieishi it, and Shouri no Uonari , are primed with a lacquer base coat on which polychrome colors were applied with lavish attention to shading. Interestingly, later enlargements of the eyeholes and perforation-holes around the outer edges (for attaching a cloth cap) attest to repeated use, suggesting that though they were dedicated to Toudaiji, they were not merely kept in storage. Other gigaku masks have a kaolin *hakudo y base coat with various styles of polychrome highlights. Shousouin masks produced after this 752 group usually bear dates, and some, the names of provinces, suggesting they were locally made and later dedicated to the repository. The full set of gigaku masks includes: *Shishi tq, Shishiko, Chidou, *Gokou , *Gojo , *Rikishi ͎m, *Kongou , *Karura ޘO, *Kuron , *Baramon g, *Taiko , *Suiko .
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REFERENCES:
*bugakumen y, *noumen \, *kyougenmen
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NOTES
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