Nasori 納曽利
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
A dance piece in *bugaku 舞楽 and the mask *bugakumen 舞楽面 representing a blue/green dragon used in the performance. A dynamic dance hashirimai 走舞 of the Right u-no-mai 右舞 introduced from Korea komagaku 高麗楽 and performed by one or two people in fringed tunics and pantaloons, ryoutou shouzoku 裲襠装束. Little is known of the meaning of the dance, except that it is said to represent frolicking dragons. Like *Ryouou 陵王, Nasori has been particularly popular, already performed in the 8c. Heian period references suggest it was favored as a celebratory dance after competitions. The creased blue and green face of Nasori has large bulging, movable eyes *dougan 動眼, topped by bushy eyebrows made of animal hair. The nose pops out above a gaping mouth with large white tusks protruding from the jaws. The dangling chin forms the shape of a "U," in contrast with a circle or oval shaped chin of the masks of *Genjouraku 還城楽 and Ryouou. Unruly tufts of blond animal hair intensify the wild expression. Particularly fine is the 1173 Nasori mask at Itsukushima Jinja 厳島神社 in Hiroshima prefecture.


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