Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tengu Mask

tengu

The earliest form of Tengu in Japan was a half-bird half-man creature, the Karasu (crow) Tengu, but the commonest form is the red faced, long nosed version that has come to be associated with yamabushi, the "mountain warriors" of Shugendo. Like all the masks, it is often used to ward off evil spirits. Like all my masks, this one is for sale at a very reasonable price :).

One weekend one year ago 1573

I've only seen the Tengu mask used in one kagura dance, and I've only seen it performed once.

One day on Miyajima 4559

This wonderful carved mask is in the temple on top of the mountain on Miyajima.

oku10

Another carved wooden mask, this one was over a metre in height, so obviously not meant to be worn. It seems the mouth is made to move. It was at a shrine in Miyoshi.

dai73

The tengu with it's huge nose is an obvious phallic symbol. This was one of a pair of masks guarding a "vagina" rock at a fertility shrine on Mt. daisen.

mats13

A tengu leads the procession at Tsunozu Matsuri

Kagura mask index

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