East Asia

Japanese Bugaku mask

aaaMystrySolvd-968Q:  Aaron is kind enough to share his recent acquisitions once again. Here is what he has to say about this exciting Japanese mask… The black mask is indeed Japanese.  It’s an old Bugaku mask, called Somakusha.  Masks like this predate Noh theatre and were used in Shinto temple ritual dances.  Also, unlike Noh, Bugaku masks are not all made of wood.  Some are, but others (like this one) are made from kanshitsu, which is a composite made from resin and wood dust, then covered with lacquer.  Aaron, 968

A:  Traditional masks have always been of great interest to the Japanese. In addition to ritual usage, they are bought to be displayed as art in the home, or to be given as a gift. For hundreds of years monks have been selling them and at the shrines for sale to worshipers and tourists. In Japan, tourist is not a derogatory term to mask collectors.  A

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