koomote 小面
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
A noh mask *noumen 能面 representing a girl in the first blush of womanhood. The full cheeks, engaging, full-lipped smile, dimpled chin, and eyes that swerve up at the sides suggest an outgoing, engaging personality. The "caterpillar" eyebrows are painted high on a full forehead and the black hair parted in the middle has three loose strands on each side etched out with a carving tool. Koomote is used both for supporting roles tsure ツレ by all schools of noh and for main shite シテ roles portraying young women by the Kita 喜多 and Konparu 金春 schools, the latter owning a fine example by the Edo period carver Yuukan Mitsuyasu 友閑満康 and another attributed to the 15c carver Echi Yoshifune 越智吉舟. The original mask is attributed to Tatsuemon 龍右衛門, a Muromachi period carver famed for his women's masks, and the broad use of this mask has inspired many variations, the most famed of which are three made by Tatsuemon and procured by Toyotomi Hideyoshi 豊臣秀吉(1536-98), who labeled them yuki no koomote 雪の小面 (snow), tsuki no koomote 雪の小面 (moon), and hana no koomote 雪の小面 (flower). Hana no koomote is presently owned by the Mitsui 三井 family in Tokyo and a 16c copy of yuki no koomote by the Kongou 金剛 theater, Kyoto.

*onnamen 女面, *magojirou 孫次郎, *wakaonna 若女, *fushikizou 節木増, *manbi 万媚.

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