Treatment of Noh Masks

Treatment of Noh Masks
gNoh masks are living thingsh
Noh masks use fully dried (for at least 20 years) Japanese cypress wood and they are always expanding and contracting. From long ago, the Noh players, apart from during their performance, would protect them from the outside air using a combination of a mask bag, mask box and mask chest and store them carefully for hundreds of years. Although it is not necessary to be too nervous about it, one should be careful of humidity and dryness, and leaving them in a room strongly heated or cooled for a long time should be avoided.

 gHold it by the lace holeh
It has white pigment and the colors from Japanese paints that have the gentle luster required for the stage. From long ago, Noh masks have not used color fixing. This is because if color fixing, such as lacquer, is used, the delicate, natural softness is lost. The Noh player must look after the mask, taking care when the performance ends that sweat etc. does not run onto the surface, contaminating the colors. When taking it in your hands, it must be held by the lace hole, and you must make sure not to touch any other area. Oils on the hands sticking to the mask can be a cause of corrosion. The repair of cracks, peeling or dirtying caused by easy treatment must involve use of the same methods as for Buddhist statues, ancient works of art, paintings and the like, and require a lot of care and expense.
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Ichyfs Gallery, Ichyfs Bldg. 2-11-14, Minami-Aoyama, Minato-Ku, Tokyo