Antique Japanese Shinto mask in the likeness of a fox (kitsune). Carved of wood and lacquered dark brown, this mask is made with a movable lower jaw operated by a wooden mouthpiece. Most likely used during ceremonial dance associated with Shinto religion.
Japanese folk lore tell of many variations of the role of the fox including those closely related to guardians of Shinto Shrines. The goddess of agriculture and fertility, Inari-san herself at times takes on the form of a white fox. In other tales, the fox takes on the role of a clever trickster.
Age: Meiji Period
Dimensions: 7 3/4″ high x 5 1/2″ wide x 3 1/4″ deep.