Noh mask of a woman persistently devoted to a loved one, but jealous
Place details: ASIA. Japan. Unknown. Cultural Group: Japanese ? Middle Edo Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Wood Plant / Pigment / ?. Processes: Painted / Carved / ?. Dimensions: Max L = 203 mm Max W = 134 mm Maker: Unknown Field Collector: Unknown When Collected: ?Prior to 1880 Other Owners: Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers. This object was listed in the Delivery Catalogue as having been transferred from South Kensington Museum in 1884. It was delivered to South Kensington Museum in September 1880. It was probably displayed at South Kensington Museum between 1880 - 1884. PRM Source: Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers founding collection Acquired: Donated 1884 PR No.: 337/ 11351 Documentation: Photographs, notes, correspondence, lists with identifications in RDF. (X) PRM Image: PR 69.L.15 .7, CD4.006_2A (front view), CD7.1 CNV00001, 2, 3, and 4 (back view)
KEYWORD: Mask / CLASS: Mask / Theatre / ?.
Accession Book V entry - 1884.114.1 -  Masks - Mask (male or female) used in the No drama and other dramatic performances representing one of the following; demons, kings, heroic personages etc Old Japan
Additional Accession Book V entry - There are 54 in the case: not examined to confirm Delivery Catalogue statement
Added Accession Book V entry - For identification of these masks see notes by T.K. Penniman in the pocket of this volume. Photographs in pamphlet with collection on upper floor of Library [nb actually see RDF [AP Leverhulme project on founding collection 1995-1998]]
Added Accession Book V entry - Middle Edo period
Delivery Catalogue I entry - Old Japanese masks 52 painted wood masks used in the No dances and other theatrical performances 301 to 352 Screen 196 and 197
'Green book' entry - South Kensington Receipts, 18 September 1880 - 52 ancient Japanese masks
Pre-PRM label - There is a white paper stuck on label with the number 337 printed in black. [HR 10/2/2006]
Written on object - The number 14/11351 is written on the back in black. [HR 10/2/2006]
Display history: Displayed in South Kensington Museum (V&A). [AP Leverhulme project on founding collection 1995-1998]
Current display text - Spirits and Ghosts: The cheerful faces to the left represent Shôjô, a Chinese spirit. When drunk (indicated here by a red flush on his cheeks), he performs auspicious dances. The skeleton-like masks to the right represent the ghosts of people who, because of lingering emotional attachments, straddle the worlds of the living and dead. (Display text written by Julia Nicholson 2006) [MdeA 23/05/2008]
Current display label - Noh mask representing the spirit of a jealous woman who is still devoted to her lover. Museum Founding Collection; 1884.114.43 (Display label written by Julia Nicholson 2006) [MdeA 23/05/2008]
Research notes: Related Documents File - Typed transcription from the Bulletin of the Noh Research Institute No. 22, 1997, Hosei University Noh Research Institute, published 25 May 1998. By Nishino Haruo. Translated by Rachel Payne, Pembroke College, Oxford, October 1998: The text relating to this mask is as follows: '337. Deigan?. [Footnote 43: Deigan - literally 'muddy eyes'. The mask of a womans persistently devoted to a loved one, but jealous. The eyes are painted with a mixture of gold powder and mud]. * the eyes differ in shape from the common deigan style, the hair is in disarray and the face has a coarse look, so it is perhaps not a 'deigan'. No inscription or brand of any type. ' [JN 23/10/2001]
Typed report on the Noh masks [1884.114.7 - 58 and 116 and 117] drawn up by Jeremy Coote. In this listing the notes are listed under the heading A, B and C refer as follows:
A = as listed on a 19th century description possibly printed in Yokohama, B = on the list compiled by T.K. Penniman from information from Arthur Waley's 'The No Masks of Japan' Henry Joly's "Legend in Japanese Art' and V.F. Weber's 'Ko-ji Ho-ten'. C = from information provided 17 June 1993 by Professor Fukushima Kazuo, Director of Research Archives for Japanese Music, Ueno Gakuen College Tokyo following a visit to the PRM in 1984. 1884.114.43 Identified as: A 'A married woman representing enmity 240 years old' B "Kyoko-mi, mask of young woman' . No inscription. Illustrated on cover of Henry Harris 'Identity' OUP 1994.
One of a set of 52 Noh or No masks for which the Museum also holds 51 silk covers (1884.114.59 - 109). An old label, surviving only as a photograph (NEG A9.F27.32; see RDF), listing all the masks in this collection, reads as follows:
'Old Japanese Masks used in the No-dances and other Theatrical performances, both religious and secular.
'The following is a description of the Masks, printed in YOKOHAMA:-
'These Masks were recently on view at the Exhibition at KIYOTO, the former capital of Japan, to which they were loaned by the owner, who is proprietor of a theatre in TOKIO. There are said to be only two superior collections in Japan, both of which are in the possession of ex-DAIMIOS. These Masks have been used in the No-dances and other Theatrical performances, both religious & secular, for many years. They were made by Buddhist Priests during their leisure hours, & the ages of the Masks, as given below, shew their antiquity.'
'[The List follows; see RDF for this and other identifications.]
'Notwithstanding the high taste for Art displayed in Japanese works the entire absence of nobility and elevation of character in all representations of the human form cannot fail to strike the observer.'
The masks were also identified by T. K. Penniman, from information gleaned from Arthur Waley's 'The No Masks of Japan', Henri Joly's 'Legend in Japanese Art' and V. F. Weber's 'Ko-ji Ho-ten'. See RDF for this and other identifications. [JC]
Please note, the original list of these masks has been found and is in Solander Box 2. [MdeA 2/2/2001]