Wood and red lacquer
20.6 (h) x 14.5 cm
Edo Period, 17th-18th century
Kagura mask, demon type
A kagura mask representing an unidentified local demon. Kagura (Literally, "god-entertainment") refers to a specific type of Shinto theatrical dance with roots that predate those of Nō.
Once strictly a ceremonial art derived from kami'gakari (Literally, "oracular divination"), kagura has evolved in many directions over the span of more than a millennium. Today it is very much a living tradition, with rituals tied to the rhythms of the agricultural calendar.