Okame is a happy satisfied woman... Often depicted with a cat.Okame, also known as Uzume or Otafuku is the name for the female counterpart of a traditional Japanese Kyogen theater pair. She is considered to be the goddess of mirth and is frequently seen in Japanese art. Her full cheeks and merry eyes are an unforgettable sight and a delight to behold. Some Japanese scholars theorize that long ago, when the first Okame masks were created, they may have represented an idealized form of feminine beauty. Styles and tastes are subject to change, and the ancient Japanese might be surprised to learn that the name Okame is today sometimes used as a less-than-appreciated joking taunt by Japanese husbands. In contrast, a famous and contemporary Japanese Kyogen actor once commented that the countenance of Okame is what every man hopes his bride will look like on his wedding night. Done in what appears to be the typical Japanese cypress wood (light-weight). Folks tend to be mis-informed on these pieces in my opinion. Yes, its meant to be wall-art. That said, a HIGHLY SKILLED master carver made this.. The same one that also created prized noh masks etc... These are how they paid the bills. Perhaps done by one of the best carvers in the world at the time.
Mask carving is a dying trade in Japan and around the world... These "art" pieces are soon to sky-rocket in price as the vintage supply of these are limited and the generationally taught carvers are no longer around. Last I knew there were less than a dozen master carvers in Greater Tokyo for instance..See my other masks for sale, including several of my other Otafuku masks. Check out my other items. The item "Old Japan/Japanese Cypress-Carved Otafuku Mask Branded/Signed -Mastercraftsman" is in sale since Sunday, February 24, 2013.
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.