heita 平太
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
A noh mask *noumen 能面 representing a strong warrior in full maturity. Wide open eyes, thick eyebrows flaring upwards in lines paralleled by a full mustache, teeth set in readiness and reddish-brown coloring produce the sunburnt features of a veteran fighter. A black strip at the upper rim represents the juncture with a warrior's hat. Two legends account for the name of the mask: one that it is a semblance of the Kamakura soldier Egara Heita 荏柄平太, the other that it combines characters of a famed father and son of the Kajiwara 梶原 family. Heita and its variations (including akaheita 赤平太, shiroheita 白平太, shigara しがら, unohana うのはな, hatsuhana はつはな) are the sole representatives of the middle-aged male noh masks and worn by all schools for victorious warrior roles, such as Minamoto no *Yoshitsune 源義経 in YASHIMA 屋島, Kajiwara Kagesue 梶原景季 in EBIRA 箙 (The Quiver), and the title Genji 源氏 warrior in KANEHIRA 兼平. A fine example dated to the 17c despite an inscription attributing it to the 14c carver Tokuwaka 徳若 (see *jissaku 十作) is property of the Tokugawa 徳川 Art Museum, Aichi prefecture.

*otokomen 男面 

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