East Asia

Japanese Kyogen mask

Here’s a Japanese carved wood mask that comes from the Asian Ethnographic Collection at the American Museum of Natural History. I especially like it because the design is strong while the colors are weak. Kyogen is the comic interlude between the serious dramas of Noh theater. Kyogen characters are homespun and funny. Japanese people love to display these masks in their homes and give them as gifts. This one is old and belongs in a museum.


  • Laurie

    Bob, speaking of museums, have you ever been to the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver? I was blown away by the huge number of fantastic masks they have on display (probably more than a thousand) and couldn’t help but think of your site.

    • Bob Ibold

      Yes. I remember being especially impressed by their collection of Native American art from the Pacific Northwest.

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