Whimsical Antique Japanese Netsuke Mask. 2 in x 1.75 in (5cm x 4.45cm) - Small.These lovely little items hang easily with a standard push-pin on the wall. The quality craving is fine if it were a full-sized mask; its masterful given its 2 dimensions. Its a rare quality item which is unfortunately becoming more difficult to fine as the art of mask making in Japan is rapidly a dying tradition. Hyottoko or clown mask from Japan.
Hyottoko seems to have been a legendary character in Japan in the past and is now portrayed through the use of a mask. Some masks have different eye sizes between the left and right eyes. The origin of the name comes from hi (Japanese: fire) and otoko (Japanese: man) because the character is blowing fire with a bamboo pipe.
There is a myth about the origin of hyottoko... In the story, there was a boy with a bizarre face who could create gold out of his belly button, so when someone died in a house, you would put the mask of this boy at the top of the fireplace to bring good fortune to the house.
In some parts of north eastern Japan, hyottoko is regarded as the god of fire. Hyottoko also appears in traditional dance dengaku.
He plays the role of a clown. Dancers wearing hyottoko masks also appear in some Japanese local festivals.
One of the most famous hyottoko dances takes place in Miyazaki Prefecture - hyuga hyottoko natsumatsuri. The hyotokko dance is believed to originate in the Edo period. A rare quality piece of master craftsmanship lucky enough to have made it out of Japan.Please see my other masks (including many Japanese ones) that are being listed. Check out my other items. The item "Antique, Boxwood, Fine, Signed, Japanese Netsuke Mask (Mennetsuke) Hyottoko" is in sale since Wednesday, September 16, 2015. This item is in the category "Antiques\Asian Antiques\Japan\Masks". The seller is "cosmic_goods" and is located in Freeport, Maine. This item can be shipped worldwide.