Oto, Kyogen Mask of a Woman, 20th century

Mask H

Title: Oto (mask of a woman)
Date: 20th century
Size: 20 x 14.5 cm

Carved and painted hinoki (cypress). Polychrome pigments and gesso over wood. Well-worn with external areas showing aged wood patina. Pigment chipped on the right-hand side of the mask. Light stain on the forehead. With fabric pouch.

Original Japanese antique.


Kyogen is a form of traditional Japanese theater that developed as a sort of intermission and comic relief between the solemn noh acts. The kyogen is very short, so costumes, masks, and props are simple and minimal. In kyogen the acting is exaggerated, featuring slapstick and satire, and although the performance is accompanied by the music of flute, drums, and gongs, the main emphasis is on the dialogue and action rather than the music or dance.


Oto (woman mask) was used for young pretty women in Kyogen. Overly plump and dimpled, she is a lower-class parody of the refined Ko-Omote mask in Noh.

More Information
Size20 x 14.5 cm
SubjectBeauty & Female
Product Date20th century