Iwami-kagura masks are manufactured in the Iwami region of Shimane Prefecture. They were first made in the late-Edo period to be worn in the Iwami kagura dance, which is a traditional performing art. Kagura masks are made using glued layers of traditional Shimane craft paper, named Iwashuu. It is said that the Iwami kagura dance form originated from the Izumo kagura dance, which uses Nihonshoki and others as subject and shows dedication to kagura. Izumo kagura is also danced with masks. It is a tradition for men to act all the roles, which include gods, princesses and devils. For each role specific masks are worn. There are two basic types of masks; the most common being a helmet type that covers the head completely with holes for the eyes and nose Nowadays it is used as bringer of good luck as well as decoration.
- 1 Tono-machi, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, 690-8501
- Shimane Brand, Facilitating Department