mikazuki 三日月
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Lit. crescent: three moons. Noh masks *noumen 能面 representing a vigorous god, such as the energetic guardian of the seas, Sumiyoshi Myoujin 住吉明神. His dashing majesty mixed with wildness can be seen in the sharply angled eyes with round metallic eyeballs and red corners, the flowing, crescent-shaped eyebrows, and wind-blown moustache surrounding thin lips drawn back to expose both upper and lower teeth. The lean face has protruding cheek bones, angular nose and chin, a bony forehead and a earthy ochre color. Loose strands of hair hang down the sides, but no hair is indicated along the upper rim of the mask. Mikazuki is used by all schools of noh for such roles as the god Sumiyoshi Myoujin in TAKASAGO 高砂, the god Kawara-no-kami 河原神 in YUMIHACHIMAN 弓八幡, and the mountain god in YOUROU 養老. In certain instances it can substitute for a mask like *ayakashi 怪士 and be used, for example, for the spirit of a departed soul in MATSUMUSHI 松虫. Various legends account for the name, including a Houshou 宝生 school explanation that the three moons stand for three Shinto guardian gods and the Kanze 観世 school having a Muromachi period mask with a crescent-shaped gauge in the forehead. A Kanze record notes that this mask was made by Fukurai 福来 (see *jissaku 十作) and is modelled after a bust of Ukisu-no-Myoujin うきすの明神. The mask taka 鷹 (hawk, including large and small version, ootaka 大鷹 and kotaka 小鷹) is a varient on mikazuki with sharp nose, triangular-shaped eyes, and furrowed brow. It is used likewise for vigorous gods, or at times for wraiths. A Muromachi period example designated Important Art Object bears an inscription with the name of the 15c carver Tokuwaka 徳若 (see *jissaku 十作). Compare to *jintai 神体, *awaotoko 阿波男.


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