Noh Mask

Shimotsuma Shōshin, Japanese, 1551 - 1616

Made in Japan, Asia

Momoyama Period (1568-1615)

Late 16th century

Carved wood with painted decoration

8 5/8 x 5 3/8 inches (21.9 x 13.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the J. Stogdell Stokes Fund, 1970

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Noh masks, an integral part of No drama, are not representative but evocative: their indeterminate features allow an actor to express varying emotions. The masks are small and expose the lower portion of the actor's face. Masks for young women's roles, such as this one, reflect the ancient ideals of female beauty held by the Japanese court: an oval face, high forehead, and false eyebrows painted just below the hairline.