This mask netsuke Kurohige has been carved from mammoth tusk, Japanese Urushi lacquers, silver Marufun, double inlaied eyes (mother-of-pearl and black water buffalo horn), its length is 5.9 cm, its width is 4.1 cm. 2021. Belgium, private collection.
Nō mask, Kurohige type
A Nō mask representing a dragon god which is believed to live in the sea and have the power to bring rain. The mask's gold eyeballs rest beneath thick eyebrow ridges of light ochre, and since Kurohige rises from the sea, the pupils look slightly upwards. The lower jaw juts forward, while the upper jaw is pulled back to create the concave shape characteristic of this mask.
With its mouth open in this way, the mask's wide, large red tongue, upper and lower teeth are visible. Its name derives from its thick, black, mustache and beard. The entire mask is painted a dark flesh color, and it is worn for
dragon-god roles in plays like Chikubushima, Mekari, Kasuga Ryujin, Kuse-no-to and Orochi.
The name of this type of mask literally means ‘black beard’, referring to its black whiskers.
The actor would wear a crown with dragon figure to clarify the identity of the role.