Ni-no-mai 二ノ舞
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
A dance piece in *bugaku 舞楽 performed right after *Ama 案摩, and the collective name for the two masks used in the performance: the Smiling Face emimen 咲面 of a leering old man and the Swollen Face haremen 腫面 of a leprous women. Classification (for terms see bugaku ): Ni-no-mai is a quiet dance hiramai 平舞 of the Left sa-no-mai 左舞, probably composed in Japan but possibly inspired by Indian rituals. It is performed by two dancers who mock the elegant movements of the heavenly Ama dancers. Generally bugaku pieces are paired and performed successively, but in this case the Ni-no-mai dancers mount the stage before Ama dancers leave. They beg for scepters and then start mimicking the Ama dancers' movements. The effect is meant to be buffoon-like and to inspire laughter. Some scholars have drawn connections with the dance of the Indian god Siva, while others view the dance as part of an enactment of cosmic ground-breaking by the Japanese earth god. The large scale, and full-fleshed eared masks hark back to 8c gigaku masks *gigakumen 伎楽面. Fine examples are by the Buddhist sculptor *busshi 仏師 Shamon Gyoumyou 沙門行明 (1173) in Itsukushima Jinja 厳島神社, Hiroshima prefecture, where the wild smile of the dark brown emimen has an explosive gaiety. The lumpy haremen seems pulled out of shape with pain and sickness. In many cases, such as the haremen at Atsuta Jinguu 熱田神宮 (1178) in Aichi prefecture, the tongue sticks out and the eyes leer from under heavily rounded lids.

*bugakumen 舞楽面 

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