yoroboshi 弱法師
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Priest with faltering step. A noh mask *noumen 能面 representing a blind young boy who frequents the temple of Tennouji 天王寺 in Osaka begging for alms in the play YOROBOSHI. His poetic spirit is expressed in his appreciation of the beauty of the plums through their smell. Long cast out from his family, he is finally reunited with his father at the end of the play. The mask has many versions, but all have closed eyelids, straggly hair over the brow, and a suffering expression. The Kongou 金剛 school yoroboshi has a narrow face and peaked, gaunt bone structure, rendered abstractly. The Houshou 宝生 mask, while fuller and softer in modeling has a deep sadness. A Momoyama period yoroboshi with furrowed eyebrows appears in deep pain. A 15c example designated Important Art Object has a calmer face, somewhat reminiscent of the other blind boy mask *semimaru 蝉丸. The slit eyes on blind masks paradoxically provide greater vision for the actor.

*otokomen 男面 

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