HANNYA  

            

         般若, a jealous female demon.

 

          The mask is used to represent sublime emotions of a human. It has two sharp bull-like horns, metallic eyes and a mouth wide open from ear to ear.       

 

          The name is a Sino-Japanese word for wisdom . The mask portrays the souls of women who have become demons due to obsession or jealousy.

 

          The Hannya mask is said to be demonic and dangerous but also sorrowful and tormented,

displaying the complexity of human emotions.

When the actor looks straight ahead, the mask

appears frightening and angry; when tilted slightly down, the face of the demon appears to be sorrowful,

as though crying. The oldest hannya mask is dated 1558.

 

Hannya masks appear in various skin tones: a white mask indicates a woman with a refined character, a red mask depicts a less refined character and the darkest red depicts true demons

 

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