Antique, Danced, Ethnographic, Exceptional rare, mask hailing from Japan! This mask is from the Saga region of Japan, has been a part of their ritual fall folk dance festivals since the Muromachi period. Buryus with a close mouth are male figures, The ones with an open mouth represent females.Most folks, confuse this with "Hannya" characters; A Buryus is not a Hannya. In that time, approximately 200 arts degree (sculpting degrees for artisans such as those that carve masks) will have been handed down. Menburyu is a traditional performing art which represents Saga Prefecture of Japan. The leading players are dancers who wear grim demon masks and valiant Kakeuchi costumes, and are accompanied by gongs, drums, and flutes just like the furyu parade.
Because of its stirring character, one of the theories concerning its origin traces it to a battle that took place during the Warring States period (middle of the 15th century to the middle of the 16th century). It has been dedicated from olden times in order to pray for a good harvest and to expel illnesses, mainly in the southwest area of Saga Prefecture. The links to the below films introduces a brief description of the two representative Menburyu, each of which belongs to a different style which has been handed down in the Otonari area and the Hogaura area. Both of them have been designated Important Intangible Cultural Properties by the prefecture. In the film, the origin, props, roles, and the structure of the way it is dedicated are shown to differ between the two dances.It also urges the necessity of passing on the local traditional culture to the future by depicting the activities of handing down the dance from adults to children. All Furyu dancers don masks or cover their mouths with hand towels, and people who do this are considered to be an incarnation of Buddha, according to an ancient Saga belief.
This indicates that Furyu was a very sacred event. Date: 2nd Sunday of September every year. Venue: Tenshi Shrine in Nanaura Otonari, Kashima-shi.
Venue: Chinshu Shrine in Nanaura Hougaura, Kashima-shi. Meta Furyu (Kamimine) Period: Mid- to end-October (held every other year). Venue: Oimatsu Shrine in Maemuta, Kamimine-cho, Miyaki-gun. Ichikawa Tentsukumai Furyu (Fuji, Saga).Date: Sunday in mid-October every year. Venue: Suwa Shrine, Ichikawa, Fuji-cho, Saga-shi.
Both the wood work and painting exhibit rare quality and workmanship. Made of a single block of highly aged wood (likely 2+ years of aging).
Chin, tongue back to the hollows of the forehead is a large breath of real estate. This is a dying art unfortunately which has been telling historical arts for thousands of years. Last I knew, there were a dozen or less master mask makers in the greater Tokyo area. The time, perfection, and training to create such an object is this most astounding thing.
A mask like this may have taken over a month for the carver using traditional techniques to choose the raw natural pigments and clay elements to hand grind the paint for this mask. Walls are exceptionally thin on this piece. At some point, the piece was damaged, a professional repair was done to the lower jaw. Piece is clearly danced as attested by the thick patina on the lower jaw.
And especially by the tiny, mouse nibble, (see pic), attesting to a critter seeking out the salty patina. Piece is pre-20th Century and an exceptionally rare find.
Modern versions have different size/shaped noses, and less predominate bottom canine teeth. 11 x 6 x 5 inches. See my other Buryus that is for sale.
Other masks of my collection might be up: Check out my other items. The item "Danced, Antique, 19th Century, Japanese Wooden Menburyu Mask Furyu Parade" is in sale since Wednesday, December 9, 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.