kumasaka 熊坂
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
A noh mask *noumen 能面 representing Kumasaka no Chouhan 熊坂長範, who was a mighty thief. Although the size and features of kumasaka reveal a strong character, the mask hints at a touch of the comic. Deep grooves shaped like sideway "u" s at both sides of the mouth emphasize the strength with which kumasaka determinedly --almost ridiculously -- clamps his broad mouth shut. The broad face is painted in red ochre. Great, round metallic eyeballs with large holes for pupils protrude from beneath a clearly carved forehead heightened by black painted eyebrows. Kumasaka has a wide flattened nose with flaring nostrils, and ears. This mask is used in KUMASAKA 熊坂 and EBOSHIORI 烏帽子折, both of which tell the story of Kumasaka no Chouhan. Similar in expression, but with eyes set somewhat closer together, is chourei beshimi 長霊べし見. A variation sculpturally similar to *oobeshimi 大べし見 and painted in dark grey with red outlines in the crevices is kurobeshimi 黒べし見, a Kanze 観世 and Konparu 金春 mask used for Kumasaka roles and in special performances of HASHIBENKEI 橋弁慶 and TSUCHIGUMO 土蜘蛛.


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