Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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痩男 yaseotoko nō (emaciated man mask)
  • Kanetaka
  • 痩男 yaseotoko nō (emaciated man mask), late 1900s
  • Where object was made: Japan
  • wood, color pigments, gold, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 20 x 14.5 x 8.5 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 7 7/8 x 5 11/16 x 3 3/8 in
  • Gift of Lilly Y. Tsubaki
  • Not on display
  • 2010.0079

This carved wooden mask depicts a man with sharp angular cheekbones and patrician features. Delicately rendered lines suggest eyebrows, mustache and beard. The size and shape of the mask’s eyes, nose and mouth are well proportioned, appearing true to life. Teeth are visible from inside a slightly open mouth that tugs down at its corners. This gives the mask a worried, sad, or anguished appearance.

With lean flesh, sunken eyes and pronounced cheekbones, the yaseotoko mask, known as the emaciated man, represents a man suffering in hell.