kobeshimi 小べし見
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
A noh mask *noumen 能面 representing a demon from hell who dances a fierce dance. A smaller version of *oobeshimi 大べし見, the compressed scale of its features creates a truly frightening and intense aura. A sharp glare emanates from the protruding, metallic gold eyeballs. The mouth is clamped firmly together and the ends of the mouth curl downward without a hint of the playfulness seen in the oobeshimi. Kobeshimi's dark red color also lends the mask power. Used for fierce gods from the underworld in UKAI 鵜飼, NOMORI 野守, and MATSUYAMAKAGAMI 松山鏡; for terrifying demons with tremendous powers in HIMURO 氷室, TANIKOU 谷行, and TANPUU 壇風; and to represent a spirit that has fallen into the underworld, as in SHOUKUN 昭君, SHOUKI 鐘馗, KOUTEI 皇帝. First created by Shakazuru Yoshinari 赤鶴吉成 (13c; see *jissaku 十作) a good example of whose work is housed today in the Tokyo National Museum. A derivative mask reminiscent of a monkey face and called sarubeshimi 猿べし見 is used for miscreants under Buddhist law, such as the night bird in NUE 鵺, in a Houshou 宝生 school variant performance.

*kijinmen 鬼神面  

(C)2001 Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. No reproduction or republication without written permission.