NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2007/6/8

能面 延命冠者 Noumen Enmeikaja Noh Mask Enmei Kaja

Jp En


Enmei Kaja is a kind of the Okina (a holy old man) masks. It expresses a rich laughter with like other Okina masks but has no separate jaw part. It looks more like a male mask with young impression created by thinly drawn beard and big dimples.

As “Enmei” means “to prolong life” and “Kaja” means “an adult male,” Enmei Kaja is a man with a virtue of prolonging life. This mask is used for tsure (the companion of shite) in “Junitsuki Orai” scene of the play “Okina,” while the Chichi-no-jo mask is used for shite (the main role). The role with this mask is considered as a son of Chichi-no-jo. Enmei Kaja is sometimes used for shite in the play “Sagi.”

Like other Okina masks, it has the remnant of the Heian and Kamakura periods, when Noh had not yet been established in the present form. Enmei Kaja is a mask with people’s prayer for long life and family ever-lasting prosperity.

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