hannya 般若
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
A noh mask *noumen 能面 representing a female serpent-demon filled with malicious jealousy and hatred. Two sharp horns sprout from the temples and bulbous, metallic eyes lie half hidden beneath scowling brows. The gaping mouth is full of gold teeth, with upper and lower fangs that heighten her ferocity. The flesh tone of the face varies depending on the social rank of the woman portrayed, with a lighter complexion indicating aristocratic status. Worn by the protagonist, shite シテ, in the second acts of AOI NO UE 葵上, DOUJOUJI 道成寺, KUROZUKA 黒塚, and MOMIJIGARI 紅葉狩. The first two plays depict women betrayed or spurned by their lovers; the second two portray demons who first appear in human form to trap the unwary. Several traditions account for the name "hannya." The most plausible account traces the origins of the mask to the mask carver Hannyabou 般若坊, who was active in the late 15c or early 16c.

*onryoumen 怨霊面 

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