Female Nō mask

Female Nō mask

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Author/ School/ Dating:

Japan, Edo period, 17th - 18th century

Technique and Dimensions:

Polychrome carved wood


Gallery II, display case 12 (inv. no. M-738)


Edoardo Chiossone collection, testamentary bequest, 1898

Object Type:

Theatrical mask


Nō (nōmen) masks are classified into five main characters, each comprising numerous varieties: this belongs to the main character Onna (woman) of the Shakumi variety, a middle-aged woman. Characterized by the white complexion, the shaved eyebrows drawn on the upper part of the forehead and especially the blackened teeth, a cosmetic practice typical of married women. Nō masks representing female roles were used by male actors, since acting was forbidden to women.