semimaru 蝉丸
KEY WORD :  art history / sculptures
A noh mask *noumen 能面 representing a young prince who is blind from birth. Used exclusively in the play SEMIMARU. Sent away to live alone in a hut, Semimaru seeks solace playing his biwa 琵琶 (Japanese lute). His crazed sister, sakagami 逆髪 (see *masugami 十寸髪), appears, and for a while the siblings are comforted by each other's company. A sweet expression of calm resignation fills this youthful mask, despite the blind eyes formed by gently curved long horizontal slits. The red lips curl upward in a slight smile, mimicking the arch of the eyebrows. Wisps of sidelocks brush against the full cheeks and a black strip across the upper forehead indicates he wears a courtier's hat. The coloring is light and delicate. The sublime resignation in semimaru contrasts with the suffering and pain in the other blind young man's mask *yoroboshi 弱法師. The Kongou 金剛 school has a fine example by the 17c carver Deme Mitsuteru 出目満照.

*otokomen 男面 

(C)2001 Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. No reproduction or republication without written permission.