Okina represents the smiling face of age & wisdom in Noh drama. From a tradition that dates back to the 14th century this exquisitely carved Japanese Cypress mask has a highly polished surface with a light even patina. It retains its original white tufts on the brow and cheeks.This mask was constructed for actual use in the theater and has been carefully preserved.There is only minor surface and handling wear as these masks were held as prized possessions by the performers who wore them. Often beginning their training at the very early age of 3, the artists would eventually come to own multiple masks during their careers, a daunting endeavor as there were over 450 different masks based on 60 types.
It takes only a quick glance at the overall mask to know this is a true work of art and not something made for export or tourists.The piece is Signed "Zu-un Saku". This is one of several masks being offered that came from a collection whose owner lived in Japan during the post World War II period. The mask measures 6 7/8" (17.45 cm) w x 8 1/2" (21.59) ht x 3 3/4" (9.51 cm) d. Included with the piece is a museum grade acrylic display mount.
A truly magnificent piece of art and a little difficult to look at without smiling back!