A Treasured Creation: Today's Treasure - Noh Masks
In the over 600-year old form of classical Japanese theater called Noh, wooden masks are worn by the performers. These masks have been made by wood carvers who lived and worked with the performer to create masks specific to each role. At age 52, Hideta Kitazawa is one of the few remaining artisans carrying on this tradition. While using a multitude of chisels to carve masks from blocks of cypress, he shares his thoughts on how these inanimate materials are brought to life and imbued with various emotions.
Noh masks evoke a variety of emotions simply by changing angles
While carving the masks, artisans make sure that voices can be heard from behind them and that they rest well on faces
The narrow sights force the Noh performers to become immersed in their performances, thus the thorough and extensive work of Noh mask makers is vital in supporting the plays
Hideta Kitazawa, one of the few active Noh mask makers