Finely carved, top-quality, 19th Century, Wooden Japanese Netsuke Mask (Mennetsuke). The character depicted is Okame... 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. All Okame masks dramatize the plumpness of the happy-satisfied woman's cheeks. However, this one elevates that art form even more, and has extremely pronounced cheeks etc. Measures approximately 5.8cm x 4.9cm x 3.0cm. Many of my masks from my extensive collection are up for sale currently - including many Japanese masks and other Mennetsukes.
The item "Signed 19th C, Wooden Japanese Otafuku/Okame Netsuke Mask (Mennetsuke)" is in sale since Saturday, February 24, 2018. 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.