The original item from The Many Faces of Japan is now SOLD.
Japanese Vintage Kyoto Kongou School ko-Omote Decorative Pottery Noh Mask by Kan'shyu Kongou Iwao 監修 金剛 巌
This Japanese Vintage ko-Omote Pottery Noh Mask of was made by Kan'shyu Kongou Iwao at the Kyoto Kongou School of Noh acting. He worked under the supervision of Kongou Iwao, the founder of the Kyoto Kongou School. It is a very uniquely made ko-omote mask, and the type is called "雪の小面、Yuki no Koomote" or a snow small mask. The lovely lady has a beautiful face, and is made with expert hand work using a slip cast I believe, and is clearly a quality piece. The back has beautiful brown glaze wotk to make the pottery look like wood, which one does not see too often. One can see it is made as a Noh mask with the holes in the eyes mouth and nose. SHe has beautiful brown-black eyes of glassy swimming pools. I am not sure of the symbolism of the dark teeth, but the one I saw on this teacher's blog had the same teeth, as well as the same brown marks where the hanging cord goes, so it appears to be a design of faux wear in the area and this is made as decorative. It is a very fine mask not your everyday ko-omote decorative piece. It is about 30- 40 years old. In excellent condition no cracks or chips. when I first got it, it has black scuff marks on it which I have since remove with lukewarm water and an organic cleaner, so just have the chin area to work on. It is signed by Kan'shyu Kongou Iwao on the back in red, '監修 金剛 巌'. The mark on the left is special and why it was made, written as: 発行 NHKサービスセンター • アートコレクション which says 'Published NHK Service Center • Art Collection. NHK stands for Nippon Hōsō Kyokai Japan Broadcasting Cooperation'. It did not come with a hanging cord, but most will find they have their own preference of hanging tools as we do. We do have some extra obijime cords and it is possible one of those round ones may fit, but the pinkish red is the only one I could find, so the buyer can let us know whether they want us to try or get their own. This is a fine ko omote decorative Noh Mask which is not just your ordinary everyday mask.
SIZE: Height 8.6 inches or 21.84cm, Width 5.5 inches or 13.97 cm, Depth 2.8 or 6.85 cm, Weight 490 grams or 1.08 lbs. prepacked.
Thank you Yoshio Kusaba san who did all the translations for us, and also shared the following. We are happy to share these two website links with the purchaser since we already have a good Noh link which further describes the characters, as does one he found for us. Included in the description should be;
雪の小面 Yuki (Snow) no Ko-omote is one of the three masks, together with the other two 月の小面 Tsuki (Moon) no Ko-omote and 花の小面 Hana (Flower) no Ko-omote, so named by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the late 16th century. The Moon mask has been lost in fire. In these, the expression 小 ko refers to 'lovely, pretty' in our sense of cute" and by extension young, pure,; but not small in size, and in this case a little larger than some we have:
Additioonally, A translated description of this ko-omote mask translated from the teacher Kongou Iwao, and the founder of the Kyoto Kongou School. As one can see from the following it is made in the fashion of a previous artist:
This work is the surface on which copy the face of the Kawachi work. Most years young in the female face, fifteen, in terms representing the virgin specific pristine beauty of six years old, 'small' of facets means that Karen Toka cute. Taiko Hideyoshi Toyotomi Horekomi really a facet three sides of the plane striking nurses Ishikawa RyumigiEmon work, it is famous loved with a facet and the name of the facet flower of snow facets month. Snow facets Kongo house, flower of the facet is owned by Mitsui Bunko. Facet of misfortune a month has been lost at the time of the fire of Edo Castle. Konparu flow and Kita flow will use as a surface of shite or the main character. such as Izutsu,'Nomiya', 'Kumano' 'Shofu'.
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