Mikazuki 三日月 [Crescent Three Moons]

* Related Modules: JPARC general

Noh: A mask representing a vigorous god, such as the energetic guardian of the seas, Sumiyoshi Myōjin. His dashing majesty mixed with wildness can be seen in the sharply angled eyes with round metallic eyeballs, the flowing, crescent-shaped eyebrows and wind-blown mustache surrounding thin lips drawn back to expose both upper and lower teeth. The lean face has protruding cheek bones, angular nose and chin, and a bony forehead. Loose strands of hair hang down the sides, but no hair is indicated along the upper rim of the mask. Mikazuki is used by all schools of noh for such roles as the god Sumiyoshi Myōjin in Takasago, the god Kawaranokami in Yumiyawata, and the mountain god in Yōrō. In certain instances it can substitute for a mask like ayakashi and be used, for example, for the spirit of a departed soul in Matsumushi.

Various legends account for the name, including a Hōshō-school explanation that the "three moons" stand for three guardian Shinto gods and the Kanze-school evidence of one of their Muromachi period masks having a crescent-shaped gauge in the forehead. A Kanze record notes that this mask was made by Fukurai and is modeled after the head of Ukisu no Myōjin.

See also nōmen. Compare to shintai, awaotoko, ayakashi. [MB]

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