Friday, December 9, 2011

Benkei mask


I have finally got round to finishing some new masks. This one is of Benkei, the archetypal sohei (warrior monk) and famed sidekick of Yoshitsune. The dance he appears in is Tsuzuki Dannoura, which is based on a story in the Heike Monogatari. Popular in kabuki, it is an uncommon dance in the Iwami kagura repertoire, and it has been quite a few years since I have seen it performed.


Benkei is always depicted wearing a cowl and this signifies his status as a sohei.



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