NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2007/6/12

能面 弱法師 Noumen Yoroboshi Yoroboshi Noh Mask

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Yoroboshi Noh Mask, used in the Noh play called “Yoroboshi”, represents an unfortunate boy who was driven out from his home and his unbearable grief caused him to go blind, forcing him become a beggar.  The mask has exaggerated ragged hair to emphasize his life as a wanderer. The mask has a slight rounded face to show the boy’s youth. His closed eyes looking down are also characteristic of the mask. There is another blind mask called Semimaru.
In the play, Saemonnojou Michitoshi, who lived in Kawachino-kuni, today’s eastern Oosaka, heard slanderous accounts of his son, Shuntokumaru, and drove him out from his house. Later when Michitoshi realized that the charge was false, he prayed to undo his actions at Tennou-ji Temple. Meanwhile, Shuntokumaru, with so much suffering from his sorrow, went blind and became a beggar called Jakuhoushi. Using a cane for support, he managed to reach Tennou-ji Temple. Although Michitoshi realized the beggar was his son, he didn’t say a word to his son to avoid attention. Jakuhoushi suffered from many conflicted feelings but managed to pull himself back from insanity. Michitoshi acknowledged he was his father in the evening and they went back home together.

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