Shishiko 師子児
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Also written 獅子児, called haeharai 蝿払. Gigaku masks *gigakumen 伎楽面 representing the two boys who lead the *Shishi 師子 (Lion) at the beginning of gigaku procession performed in Japan from the 7-12c. Two Shishiko masks comprise a set, each pair exhibiting related features, as if portraying brothers. The playful smile, elegant nose and eyebrows resemble Chinese features more than many other gigaku masks do. The Shishiko masks tend to have a fresh energetic look appropriate to the child's role, although some are stern. Some masks have metal plaques and remnants of hair, suggesting they were once topped with full heads of bushy hair. The dynamic force in the features of these masks representing young boys distinguishes them from similar masks like the *Taiko 太孤.


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