Obeshimi 大べし見

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Obeshimi mask

 Ōbeshimi 大べしみ

Noh: A mask representing a tengu who protects others from evil spirits and demons. The oldest form of beshimi maks, caracteristically the mouth is firmly clenched and metallic gold eyes appear to pop out of the face. While the ōbeshimi has an expression of inner determination, it also has a comical aspect: if ōbeshimi were to unclamp its teeth, it would break into a smile. Ōbeshimi's tense expression creates deep wrinkles on the forehead and forces both ends of the eyebrows to curl upward. Flattened nostrils enlarge the end of the nose. The mask has a rounded jaw and depth of medelling allows for ears. The eyebrows, beard, and mustache of the mask are painted in black. Vermillion outlines highlight the creases in the brown skin. Used for tengu roles in Kurama Tengu, Zegai, Kuruma zō, Dairokuten, and Daie, where it is worn under a shaka mask and therefore called shaka shita. First created by the thirteenth carver Shakazuru Yoshinari. A good standard obeshimi mask is owned by the Mitsui family, Tokyo, and a fine early Muromachi example with smaller eyeballs and rounder face belongs to Nara Zuihiko Shrine.

See beshimi, kijinmen, and nōmen. Compare with kobeshimi, kurohige, sarubeshimi, chōrei beshimi, kumasaka. [MB]

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