The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures

Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.
Rare! Ainu Bear Shishi-mai Dance Mask

Rare! Ainu Bear Shishi-mai Dance Mask

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Devotional Objects: Pre 1900: Item # 1482521

Please refer to our stock # MOR8500 when inquiring.
The Kura
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817-2 Kannonji Monzen-cho
Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-8385
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A remarkable Ainu Shishi-bear mask of wood covered in genuine hair with glass eyes made for traditional festival dance performance. It is made of wood, dry-lacquer, paint, animal hair and features glass eyes. A unique contraption inside the head allows the eyes to move from side to side. In 30 years it is the only one I have ever seen. Roughly the mask is 35 x 26 x 30 cm (14 x 10 x 12 inches) and is in surprisingly good condition, dating from the later 19th to early 20th centuries. It comes complete with the dilapidated long trailing red and white cloth robe which would have hidden the dancers This is an unprecedented opportunity to acquire a unique piece of Ainu culture.
For a similar mask see the last photo, published in the book Garakuta Bijutsu (1975, Figure 27) titled Ainu Soshingu (Ainu accessories); a copy of the book is included.