An interesting and rare folio on Noh Masks. On the front page an impressive red/white paper label with Japanese characters. Underneath in brown ink:
‘This is an yet unfinished work on masks by Mr. Iwao Kongo, who pre-
sented this copy to my on the occasion of my visit on Dec 10th, 1931, at
his residence, Kyoto. This copy is one part out of five. Mr. Iwao
Kongo is the 24th generation of the Kongo-Family who are all ac-
tors of No-plays from father to son and who represents one of
the 5 schools of no-playing, the others being: K(w)anden
(Kyoto), Hosho (Tokyo), Kita and Kompe(a)l”.
A. W. Henny
The folio consists of 5 printed full color titled photographs of Noh masks with description in English and Japanese. The following masks are described:
- Kojishi. Displays the features of a lion, meaning a young lion. Used in the latter half of the Shakkyo. Made by Deme Jirozaemon Norimitsu (a. 1560 A. D.) who lived in Fuchu in the province of Echizen, and was called Joyu afterwards (Bunroku Period) when he became a priest. In the possession of the Temple Itsukushima in the Provence of Aki.
- Yamauba. Displays the features of a legendary old woman called Yamauba who is said to have been a monster and have lived in mountain solitudes. Worn by Nochi-Shite in the Yamauba. Made by Yoshinari Shakuzuru Ittosai (a. 1280 A. D.) In the possession of the House of Kongo in Kyoto.
- Masukami. Displays the sad features (sadder that those of the Zo-onna but brighter than those of the Nakizo) of a woman, and her characteristic feature in the middle of the forehead. Worn by Nochi-Shite in the Ema, and used also in the Semi-maru, Makiginu, etc. Made by Hisatsugu Zoami (a. 1370 A. D. ) who lived in Kyoto, and is known as the maker of the Zo-onna and said to have been a friend of Yoshimitsu Ashikaga. In the possession of the House of Kongo in Kyoto.
- Shintai. Similar to the Kantan-otoko. Displays the features of a god. Worn by Nochi-Shite in the Takasago, Yoro, etc. Made by Mitsuteru Deme (a. 1500 A. D.) who was also called Jirozaemon and lived in Fuchu in the province of Echizen. In the possession of the Temple Itsukushima in the Province of Aki.
- Deijya. Displays the ferocious features of a serpent. Worn by Nochi-Shite in the Dojyoji. Made by Yoshinari Shakuzuru Ittosai (a. 1280 A. D.) In the possession of the Tokyo Imperial Museum.
The set comes with a printed photograph of Mr. Irao Kongo in the rol of ” the legendary old woman of the mountain”, wearing the mask Yamauba. All the prints are protected by a tissue paper printed with title. All prints are surmounted by a passe-partout with blind marked title and with the initials ‘NP’ or ‘PN’ with in a fan logo. In the back of the folio map a label with printed Japanse Characters.
Dimensions: 50 x 38 cm.
The folio map is at a few points torned, all prints are in good condition.
Japan, ca 1931
Provenance: Dr. A. W. Henny, The Hague, (1896 – 1976).