otafuku お多福
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Also okame おかめ, ofuku お福, otogoze 乙御前, and *sanpei jiman 三平二満. A humorous, homely woman's face characterized by a small nose, flat forehead and chin, and full, bulging cheeks. Frequently depicted either half-length or as a full-length figure, wearing a Heian court costume and holding a cypress fan hiougi 檜扇. Sometimes she may be depicted in typical clothing of the Edo townspeople. Her hair often hangs straight down, accentuating the humorous effect of her odd face, which has eyes that slant down at the corners, and are crinkled with laughter. This facial type is thought to be derived from a kagura 神楽 mask called uzume 鈿女. An otafuku type mask called *oto 乙 is used in kyougen 狂言. Since the Edo period otafuku is frequently painted as an auspicious subject on votive wooden tablets *ema 絵馬, or for congratulatory gifts. Well-known examples include one with the seven gods of good fortune *shichifukujin 七福神 (1712) in Kiyomizudera 清水寺, Kyoto, and paintings by *Rinpa 琳派 artists such as Ogata Kourin 尾形光琳 (1659-1716) and Tatebayashi Kagei 立林何げい (fl.1740-50; Tokyo National Museum).


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