“Masks” Terms

San-kijo (三鬼女)

This refers to the three Noh plays “Aoinoue”, “Kurozuka (Adachigahara)” and “Dōjōji”, in which nochi...

Mushiboshi (虫干し)

This is the process of taking out masks, costumes, props, and esoteric books from the storehouse an...

Men-kaban (面鞄)

A bag for carrying Noh and Kyōgen masks. A box containing masks was initially wrapped in a furoshik...

Hinoki (桧)

A coniferous tree belonging to the genus cypress in the cypress family. There are two types of cypre...

Basu (馬毛)

Refers to horsehair. In particular, the hair of the tail is called “馬素”(material from a horse) or “...

Men-uchi (面打)

Makers of Noh and kyōgen masks. The term also refers to the work of making masks. “Kamenfu” (A Genea...

Kyōgen-men (狂言面)

Masks used in kyōgen plays. Since kyōgen has many characters played without masks, there are only ab...

Noh-men (能面)

Masks used in Noh plays. Noh masks fall into several categories: okina masks used for “shiki-sanban ...

Jissaku (十作)

One of the ratings of Noh mask-makers in the old era. It refers to the ten people who were active fr...

Shinsaku (神作)

Legendary mask makers of great age. Also, old masks created by such legendary makers. In "Kamenfu" (...

Men-bukuro (面袋)

A bag for keeping Noh and Kyōgen masks. Often featuring a flap with a tying strap, its shape is desi...

Yakiin (焼印)

A permanent mark created by a heated metal stamp. The tool for making the branding is also called ya...

Tenkaichi (天下一)

A title given to masters of various industrial arts by the authorities, from the Azuchi-Momoyama per...

Senyōmen (専用面)

A “specialized mask,” or mask worn by a specific character. Noh masks include generalized masks such...

Enmeikaja (延命冠者)

Okina has been called “Noh, yet not Noh,” as it is really more a Shinto ritual or prayer song than ...

Chichinojō (父尉)

Okina has been called “Noh, yet not Noh,” as it is really more a Shinto ritual or prayer song than ...

Menbako (面箱)

The boxes that contain the masks of Noh and kyōgen. In Shikisanban (Okina), menbako may also refer t...

Utsushi (写し)

A copy of an excellent mask or costume that has been passed down from ancient times. The creation o...

Men (面)

See "Omote"...

Omote (面)

The masks used in Noh and kyōgen, known as either omote or men. Many characters wear masks in Noh, a...

Hitamen (直面)

While characters in Noh perform while wearing masks, they play the role in a similar manner even whe...

Terasu (テラス)

Angling the mask slightly upward is known as terasu, or “to make a happy face,” and angling the mask...

Kumorasu (クモラス)

Angling the mask slightly downward is known as kumorasu, or “to make a sad face,” and angling the ma...

Honmen (本面)

Masks that form the standard for individual schools and are passed down by the heads of the schools ...


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