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San-kijo (三鬼女)

This refers to the three Noh plays “Aoinoue”, “Kurozuka (Adachigahara)” and “Dōjōji”, in which nochi-shite are female demons. In all of the pieces, the nochi-shite wear hannya masks. In “Aoinoue”, the mask is coloured white, indicating nobility, because the lead role is the noble Rokujō no Miyasundokoro (Lady Rokujō). In “Kurozuka”, the mask is black, indicating darkness, because she is a demoness at the foot of the mountains in the Tōhoku region. In “Dojoji”, the mask is red, indicating passion, because the woman transforms into a snake body in a fit of rage. In “Momiji-gari”, a hannya mask is sometimes used in the story of a demon transformed into a beautiful woman, but the piece is not included in San-kijo because she is not a true demoness.

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