Antique Japanese small Gigaku performance mask. Gigaku (literally meaning “skill music”) is an earlier form of Japanese theatre that was brought over from Korea and China in 612. Gigaku reached a high point during the Nara Period and continued it’s popularity until it was eventually replaced by Bugaku theatre. Traditionally performed outdoors at a temple, Gigaku masks were carved with exaggerated features in order for them to be seen by an audience seated at a distance. There are 14 characters in 4 groups of Gigaku masks. This mask represents the demon Konron. Though his appearance is fierce with red skin and sharp teeth, his character is performed in comic fashion. This mask is smaller than what would have been worn, made of low fire ceramic and painted with mineral colors.
Age: Meiji Period (1868-1912)
Dimensions: 6 1/4″ high x 4 7/8″ wide x 3 1/2″ deep.