kurohige 黒髭
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Black beard. A noh mask *noumen 能面 representing a dragon god which is believed to live in the sea and have the power to bring rain. The mask's gold eyeballs rest beneath thick eyebrow ridges of light ochre and, since kurohige rises from the sea, the pupils look slightly upwards. The lower jaw juts forward, while the upper jaw is pulled back to create the concave shape characteristic of this mask. With the mouth open in such a fashion, the mask's wide, large red tongue and upper and lower teeth are visible. The name derives from the thick, black mustache and beard. The entire mask is painted a dark skin color. Worn for dragon-god roles in plays like CHIKUBUSHIMA 竹生島, KUSE-NO-TO 九世戸, MEKARI 和布刈, KASUGA RYUUJIN 春日竜神 and OROCHI 大蛇, and for tsure ツレ dragon roles in SHIRAHIGE 白髭, CHOURYOU 張良, KENJOU 絃上, and OOYASHIRO 大社. The Kanze 観世 family in Tokyo own a Muromachi period kurohige designated an Important Cultural Property. This mask has a reddish tint to its earthy coloring and a red-lacquer insignia attributing it to Shakuzuru Yoshinari 赤鶴吉成 (15c.; see * jissaku 十作).

*kijinmen 鬼神面 

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