Suiko 酔胡
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Lit. Drunken Persians ; referring to Suikoou 酔胡王 (the Drunken Persian King) and his followers, Suikojuu 酔胡従. Gigaku masks *gigakumen 伎楽面 dating mostly from the 7- 8c. portraying a non-Japanese exotic king who, with six to eight followers, performs drinking revels. Although there are variations in the rendering of the features, the long noses and slightly Caucasian features of these "barbarians" have led to speculation that the prototypes may be Greek or Roman and the performance connected to Dionysian rites. The king, wears a tall hat and often a crown, which may be painted gold, or decorated with floral patterns. Some of the masks had thick beards and mustaches of implanted hair. The long-nosed and bare-headed Suikojuu are hearty, red-faced fellows of various ages who illustrate stages and emotions of inebriation from mirth to anger. Both *Konju 胡飲酒, and the *Shousouin 正倉院 have quite a number of Suiko masks.


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