By far the most recognized mask in Japanese Noh Theatre is that of Hannya. The Hannya mask represents the soul of a woman who has become a demon due to the consuming forces of Obsession or Jealousy. A distinctive frightening appearance lends itself to be compared to the old adage "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
Displaying the complex range of human emotion the character who wears the Hannya mask appears dangerous and demonic, but by carefully manipulating the angle of the mask, the actor can change the appearance of the mask from angry and frightening to sorrowful and tormented even as though weeping.
This mask is of the white variety signifying a woman of aristocratic status, a red mask denotes a woman of the lower class, whereas, the darkest red depicts in its most evil incarnation a true demon.
These masks are carved of cypress wood and coated with layers of Gesso and glue, sanded, and then painted.The metallic paint on the eyes and teeth have darkened somewhat with patina and there is minor wear and a few small scrapes,chips, and some tiny dings due to the many years of handling.
The reverse of the mask is painted black and has two silk cords for affixing the mask.This impressive piece is also signed by the artist 河内作 Kawauchi Saku "Made by Kawauchi"The mask is complete with a green silk padded storage bag that is secured with a set of intact white cloth ties.
An absolutely stunning antique piece guaranteed to attract attention in any decor, and will provide lots of enjoyment watching your guests eyes drawn to it like a magnet over and over again!