Mask Carving Lessons
UDAKA Michishige is unique in being both a Noh actor and a mask carver. Students in his mask carving classes in Kyoto, Nagoya, Tokyo, and Matsuyama learn to sculpt masks of a high quality that can be used on stage. Every two years a group mask exhibition is held to show the latest results of students efforts. These mask exhibitions include free-standing displays of some masks, performance pictures, costumes and lecture-demonstrations to promote a deeper understanding of the place of the Noh mask in the world of Noh.
Noh masks are carved from Japanese cypress (hinoki) using traditional chisels and templates and finished with the crushed shell powder (gofun), animal glue (nikawa), and mineral colors (iwa-enogu) medium, the same materials used in traditional Japanese painting (nihonga). It takes between eight months to a year to complete the process of sculpting and painting a Noh mask.
While the Noh masks are generally copies (utsushi) of traditional works, the carver always strives to discover and re-create the essence of the original mask. This requires not only technical skill, but an understand and appreciation of Noh itself. Through subtle nuances of carving and coloring discovered and developed through years of training and experience, the power of the masks is brought to life. A good mask is a medium for projecting emotion to an audience over a considerable physical distance. Proper modeling of the back of the mask facilitates the projection of the voice.
Ultimately, a Noh mask's true beauty and character are realized when an actor wearing it on stage successfully unites Intention, Chant, and Movement. When these conditions are fulfilled, a state of Yugen - a harmony realized in the of the present moment - is born.
Contact us directly about class schedules and visiting a class.
3 times a month, Thursdays
Men-no-kai Main Office
111 Satta-cho, Kami-takano, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-0047
2 times a month, Saturdays
Men-no-kai Nagoya Branch
Yatomi Community Center
Once a month, Tuesday or Wednesday
Men-no-kai Matsuyama Branch
Yamagoe 4-chome 11-38, Matsuyama, Ehime
Tel/Fax: (089) 924-8554
Once a month, Sunday
Men-no-kai Tokyo Branch
Tel: (090) 6244-1055