A Noh Mask of Shishiguchi
The countenance appears malevolent, but Shishiguchi is a powerful guardian deity of the Buddhist faith and thus benevolent in nature. Although darkened and abraded, most of the original gold finish remains, which is unusual for a mask of this age. The intensity of the expression without resort to exaggeration, and the massive size of the mask, are characteristic of work predating the Edo period. The carving pattern and patina of the reverse confirm this age.
Unsigned. Late 16th century
Height: 25 cm.
Rutherston and Bandini, Japanese Masks, 2012, no. 3