Oto Mask

A very good Okame mask carved finely in Hinoki wood (cypress) is a very sensitive depiction for this licentious country madam who often jests with her partner Hyottoku in sexual forays. Together their fecundity symbolizes a hope and desire for successful agricultural production as well as for the pro-creation of the people. A carver who carved masks for Kyogen plays as well as country masks as it is refined and larger than most mingei masks of this character might have made it. 16th-17th century.
Appraiser’s number: [5]

Historical period(s)
Muromachi through Edo period, 16th-17th century
Medium
wood
Dimensions
H x W x D (overall): 22.3 x 16.4 x 6.3 cm (8 3/4 x 6 7/16 x 2 1/2 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Collected by Seymour J. Janow and gifted in his memory by his family
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F2003.5.5
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Mask
Type

Mask

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Muromachi period (1333 - 1573), Noh, theater, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 2003
Seymour J. Janow, Washington, DC, acquired in Japan, to 2003 [1]

From 2003
Freer Gallery of Art, given by the family of Seymour J. Janow in 2003

Notes:

[1] According to Curatorial Note 1, Ann Yonemura, September 30, 2003, in the object record.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Mrs. Selma Janow

Description

A very good Okame mask carved finely in Hinoki wood (cypress) is a very sensitive depiction for this licentious country madam who often jests with her partner Hyottoku in sexual forays. Together their fecundity symbolizes a hope and desire for successful agricultural production as well as for the pro-creation of the people. A carver who carved masks for Kyogen plays as well as country masks as it is refined and larger than most mingei masks of this character might have made it. 16th-17th century.
Appraiser's number: [5]

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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