Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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深井fukai nō (distraught mother mask)
  • Japan
  • 深井fukai nō (distraught mother mask), late 1900s
  • Where object was made: Japan
  • wood, ink, color pigments, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 21 x 13 x 7 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 8 1/4 x 5 1/8 x 2 3/4 in
  • Gift of Lilly Y. Tsubaki
  • Not on display
  • 2010.0082

This carved wooden mask depicts a woman with a smooth oval face. Her pleasant features are dampened by the subtle worry lines that extend along either side of her mouth, the anxious expression in her eyes, and the tightness to her mouth. Black paint delineates her hairline.

In the play Sumida River, this fukai mask is used to portray the role of the distraught mother, who travels from Kyoto to Tokyo in search of her son, who has been abducted by slave traders.