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Ryouou@—ˉ¤
KEY WORD :@art history / sculptures
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Also Raryouou —…—ˉ¤, Ranryouou —–—ˉ¤ (King Lanling), and Ryuuou —´‰¤ (Dragon King, see *ryuu —´). A *bugaku •‘Šy dance and the mask *bugakumen •‘Šy–Ê of a golden beast with a dragon perched on its head. Classification (for terms see bugaku): a dynamic dance hashirimai ‘–•‘ of the Left sa-no-mai ¶•‘ originally from either Southeast Asia rin'yuugaku —Ñ—WŠy or China tougaku “‚Šy performed by one person dressed in a fringed tunic and pantaloons ryoutou shouzoku åêåû‘•‘©.
According to some the dance celebrates the victory of Prince Lanling also known as Changgung ’·‹± of Pohai –kÄ (Manchuria) over the Zhou dynasty. Legends vary but either the handsome and kind prince donned the gruesome Ryouou mask himself and frightened his enemy into submission, or his father's ghost appeared wearing the mask. Others trace the dance back to Indian sources, either to the play NAGANANDA (Joy of the Serpents) or to images of Eight Dragon Kings hachidai ryuuou ”ª‘å—³‰¤, especially Shagara or Sakara ¹ã¹—…. Following this tradition, folk festivals in Japan since the 13c often incorporate the dance of Ryouou as a rain prayer, for dragons are associated with water and the east. This last function may account, in part, for the great popularity of the dance; which dates back to at least to the Heian period. The sharp nose, bulging, rotating eyes *dougan “®Šá and gaping mouth with huge teeth and dangling chin *tsuriago ’ÝŠ{ are given a concentrated aggressive intensity by the wrinkles that line the face and the carved strands of heavy hair above the forehead. The gold face and metallic eyes are set off by the green hair and vermillion mouth. Tuffs of animal hair suggestive of eyebrows and moustache add an uncanny realism. On top perches a crouching dragon.
The dragons on top are of two kinds. Some, like the one on the late 12c Ryouou at Itsukushima Jinja Œµ“‡_ŽÐ appear as separate figures seated on the head, with chest raised and limbs distinct. Many of these were carved separately and then attached to the mask. Other dragons, such as the one on the 13c Ryouou at Tsurugaoka Hachimanguu ’߉ª”ª”¦‹{ in Kanagawa prefecture, form an integral part of the mask, like an elaborate crown that is carved simultaneously with the face out of the same block.
A dry lacquer *kanshitsu Š£Ž½ Ryouou at Fujita “¡“c Art Museum in Osaka may well be the only 8c bugaku mask preserved today. Although damaged, it still retains the flavor of (8c) sculpture. Many of the 64 extant old Ryouou masks are preserved in the countryside and were made after the 13c for folk festivals. Most have simplified constructions (eg. no movable eyes) or carving. Some show a patternization and distortion of the original model, Tendaiji “V‘䎛 in Iwate prefecture; Hakusan Jinja ”’ŽR_ŽÐ in Niigata prefecture, while some have added elaborations such as sharp teeth set into the dangling chin, Ooboshi Jinja ‘启_ŽÐ in Aomori prefecture and metallic embellishments on the dragon, Tesshuuji “SMŽ› in Shizuoka prefecture.
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REFERENCES:
*Nasori ”[‘]—˜@
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NOTES
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