Japanese Noh mask SHISHIGUCHI, wood carving imported from Japan.
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This is exclusively used in "Shakkyō", a fifth-group play (gobanme-mono) that has a demon or a goblin for its leading character. The scene of "Shakkyō" is China. In the play, the Japanese priest Jakushō sees a lion dancing on a stone bridge, which leads to another world, the Pure Land. It is a play of a good omen for expelling evil spirits. The piece is sometimes performed to show the progress of leading actors. The majestic appearance of Buddha preaching the truth is traditionally referred to as Shishi-ku (a roar of a lion) because the face is compared to that of a roaring lion. The mask manifests Buddha's appearance, and seems to have the power of exorcism in the highly forcible and impressive looks. Depending on the school, masks with different expressions are used.