The Ko-tobide mask is a kind of fierce deity masks. Its wide-open eyes and mouth, narrow face and the curved-lines of mustache create a rather comical image, but at the same time it looks suspicious. This is no wonder, since the Ko-tobide mask is used for the spirits of animals moving around the woods, such as the spirit of a fox typified by the Inari’s messenger. It is not horrible but you can’t help being alert against it. The mask exquisitely expresses such a suspicious atmosphere. It is also used for an agile animal. No other mask can create such a bewildering impression. The Japanese people have been bewitched by foxes and spirits since ancient times, so it’s not so bad an idea to be bewitched by the creature on the cypress stage.
- Noh Mask Ko-tobide