kijinmen 鬼神面
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Kijin masks. Masks representing gods who dispel evil, animal spirits, and Buddhist deities, particularly as used in the *nou 能 theater. All kijin masks have an exaggerated sense of violent movement, large ears, and metallic gold eyeballs and teeth. Within the kijin mask category, there are several sub-categories: *ootobide 大飛出 (bulging eyes) are strong gods with visible tongues, open mouths, and eyes that pop out; *oobeshimi 大べし見 are demons with clenched mouths; *ooakujou 大悪尉 are fierce, old men. Other types include the deity *tenjin 天神, the devilish *shigami 顰, the lion *shishiguchi 獅子口 and the Chinese fox *yakan 野干. While the types of kijinmen used in the no theater were mostly produced and perfected in the Kamakura period, the first kijinmen can be found before nou theater began. Precursors to nou kijinmen were used in rituals to exorcise evil spirits and sickness gyoudoumen 行道面. The strong clenched mouth of oobeshimi and the sticking out tongue of ootobide probably date back to such rituals and functioned as devices to scare away evil spirits. Influences of older traditions can be seen: ootobide and tenjin hark back to Chinese-derivative bugaku masks *bugakumen 舞楽面, tenjin and ooakujou are influenced by dragon masks, and oobeshimi and shishiguchi derive from gigaku masks *gigakumen 伎楽面 of the guardian spirits, *Kuron 崑崙 and *Rikishi 力士. Many of the kijinmen are attributed to Shakuzuru Yoshinari 赤鶴吉成 (15c). Shikami is attributed to Yasha 夜叉(15c). See *jissaku 十作.

*noumen 能面

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