What is a Japanese Noh mask?

Noh masks (能面 nō-men or 面 omote) are carved from blocks of Japanese cypress (檜 “hinoki”), and painted with natural pigments on a neutral base of glue and crunched seashell. There are approximately 450 different masks mostly based on sixty types, all of which have distinctive names.

What is the meaning of Noh in Japanese?

talent or skill

Noh (能) comes from a Japanese word meaning talent or skill.

How do Noh masks work?

“A Noh mask is the face of an actor and can never be parted (from it). Actors puts them on inside the dressing room and the performance starts from there. Most people only see the performance on stage, but actors are already immersed in their roles from when they first face the mirror.”

Why was noh created?

What is the purpose of Noh theatre? The purpose of Noh theatre is to create performance art where masked actors make particular stylized gestures. It is influenced by religious rituals and Buddhist themes, the plays are often concerned with moral dilemmas and the next life.

What is the difference between noh and kabuki?

“Noh is a very traditional performance, but kabuki is something that’s for ordinary people.” There are also significant visual differences between the two art forms. In noh, performers wear a mask, but in kabuki, they use face paint.

Why are Noh masks small?

It may seem strange to see a mask that doesn’t fully cover the actor’s face, with the chin revealed. This is not because the Japanese people of long ago had such small faces; you will find that the mask best fits the actor when you see the chin.

What characters do Noh masks represent?

The types of Noh masks are: Otoko – men mask. Chūjō – has a noble womanish look, represents sophisticated, educated, graceful and sorrowful man. Kagekiyo – represents a deranged person, once a great soldier who was defeated and exiled, prisoned, lost his sight and became a beggar.