This mask was made in Gigaku style. Gigaku, Japan's earliest masks, were used in Japan for a dance drama (or play without words) as early as 612 AD. Unlike Noh masks which just cover the face, gigaku are larger and cover the whole front of the head. I am grateful to Arie Vos of Kitsune Japanese Art Gallery for identifying this character as "Taikofu", a tottering old man.
Like a Noh mask, the interior is covered in a cloth and impregnated with sizing - the exterior is reddish-brown lacquer with black, red, and gold highlights. Measurements are 10-1/4" high x 6-1/2" wide.
There is some damage to the mask. It is structurally sound, but please scrutinize the photos.
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