Showing posts with label Hanya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hanya. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Chiyo Inari Shrine Tsuyama

Chiyo Inari Shrine Tsuyama

Chiyo Inari Shrine is literally right at the base of the massive stone fortifications that made up Tsuyama Castle.

It was originally a sub-shrine of Tsuyama Hachimangu which stood on the hill, and is said to have been founded in 934, but when the Mori Clan took over the domain and started constructing the castle in 1604 it was moved.

Actually it was moved several times but in 1683 made its final move to the current location.

Being an Inari shrine, the guardians are foxes, with red hats and scarves rather than bibs.

I visited at the end of July and a Chinow was in place inside the torii. These purification hoops can be found at different times of the year nowadays, but as I encountered one a few days earlier it seems that this time of the year is the norm in Okayama.

The roosters on the ema suggest they have been hanging there for nine years.

The main hall dates back to when the shrine was moved here in 1683 and is an Important Cultural Property of the city.

The Hanya carving is quite unusual and is there for protection.

As is common at Inari shrines, there are a lot of smaller, Inari shrines in the grounds.

I visited on the 4th day of my walk along the Chugoku Kannon Pilgrimage and the previous post in the series is Tsuyama Castle.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Three New Masks

Finally got around to finishing some more masks. This first one is a small Hannya. Made quite a few but the large Hannya are more popular.

This is an Akaoni, a red demon or ogre. This is also very popular with non-Japanese, probably because the Devil is usually red....

This last one is a Tajikarao, the "strongman" who opens the cave in which Amaterasu has been hiding herself.....

Buy Handmade Masks From Japan

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Latest Masks


The two latest masks I completed. Every winter I have a rather optimistic plan to finish lots of new masks. Summers are too humid to make them as everything stays soft and doesn't dry properly. As usual the universe conspires to give me so many chores to do that I don't get the time I want on my masks.


These are two of the most popular of my masks. The customer has been waiting for them for a year. Obviously a very patient man, but he did say that my masks were worth waiting for. Sucker for flattery that I am. The garden will be demanding my time in a moon or two, but hopefully I will get time now for some new masks. I have been trying to finish a couple of Kitsune masks for three years now......

Buy Handmade Masks From Japan

Monday, February 23, 2015

A couple of new masks


Just finished another couple of masks, and rather being something new they are copies of earlier ones that had been ordered. Whereas most kagura masks are made out of wood, for the past hundred years in the Iwami region they have been made out of the local paper, sekishu washi, a UNESCO listed material.


Based on the hanya mask, though with some of my own variations, they remain the most popular of my masks.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Another Blue Hanya Mask


Just shipped off a couple of new masks today. This is the fourth Blue Hanya I've sold and am quite pleased as it is an original design of mine.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A new red hanya mask


I just finished another mask. A fairly standard hanya in the Iwami style. Hopefully this winter I can replenish my stock of masks as there is little to do in the garden, the firewood is all chopped, and the drier air speed up the process.


It is, of course, for sale. My other masks are here

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A new red hanya mask

Red hanya.
In the months of December and January there is almost nothing to do in the garden, and with more than enough firewood for this winter I have had enough "free" time to finally get round to finishing some masks.


Red hanya masks exist in other parts of the country, but I have never seen one in an Iwami Kagura dance.

There was a program on NHK a few days ago that included an interview with a master maskmaker from Hamada, and onbe thing he said was that if a mask was meant to be scary, then make it scary. That's what I have tried to do here....


Friday, January 28, 2011

Momiji gari part 2


This is a continuation of an earlier post.

As the heroes lay unconscious in a drunken stupor they are visited by Hachiman, the god of war and the protective deity of samurai. Interestingly in the kagura dance he is referred to as Hachiman Bosatsu, which is his buddhist identity, and as buddhism was mostly purged from Iwami kagura in the early Meiji period, it leads me to believe this is a post-war dance.


Hachiman purifies the heroes and also gives them a sacred sword and so the scene is set for the finale, a wild and frenetic swordfight.


The three demons have new masks and appear in all their fully formed horror.


There is, of course, no doubt as to the outcome. The good guys will win, and the demons will be destroyed.......


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hanya Masks of Kunisaki


I did manage to find a few example of Hanya masks at the shrines on the Kunisaki Peninsular in Kyushu. Male demons were far more common though.


I have written earlier about hanya masks and what little is known about their meaning.
That, and some earlier posts with my hanya masks are here


I was fortunate to quite by chance meet up with a mask maker while there. He carved his masks in the traditional way and the standard hanya was one of his mainstays.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Gaijin Hanya


It's been a while since I finished any new masks, but a couple of recent sales has prompted me to get off my butt and finish some.

With an extra long nose, wonky eyes, wrinkles, and brown hair, this must be a Gaijin Hanya.

It is of course for sale, as are all my masks :)


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mizokuchi demons


This is the draincover for the town of Mizokuchi in Tottori Prefecture. A story concerning the mythical 7th emperor of Japan visiting the area and fighting the local Oni, demon or ogre, is considered to be the earliest mention of Oni in Japan.


Up until recently the town had an Oni Museum, but apparently it has closed down due to lack of visitors. The giant statue on top of the building was visible from quite a ways off.


There was a small collection of demon masks from around the world.


And a small collection of demon masks from around japan.


A nice wooden Hanya mask.


Off course it wouldn't be Japan without "cute" demons!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Small Hanya mask 2


This is another version of the small Hanya mask in Iwami Kagura style. The hanya masks are the most popular in terms of sales, and its the most popular search term bringing visitors to this blog! What little is known about Hanya masks I've written here


There are only about 3 or 4 different forms and shapes for Hanya masks around here, but the painting and shading makes for a much wider range of appearances. I love seeing new kagura groups with masks by different mask-makers and studying their different styles.


This one is an older mask carved in wood. It is too big to be used as a performance mask, and was made as a decoration to scare off evil spirits, the use made of most hanya masks sold.


Over time I will be posting lots more of my masks, and they are for sale, so please contact me if interested.

Kagura Mask Index

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Small Hanya mask

small hanya

This is a standard hanya mask in the Iwami Kagura style. I didn't embelish it in any way. I think that some of her sadness shows through her horrific visage.
I believe the hanya is the most popular mask bought as protection for homes against evil spirits.
The story and meaning of the hanya is here
It and all my masks are for sale.
Kagura Mask Index

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hanya mask

This was the first Hanya mask in Iwami Kagura style that I completed. I have posted already about the meaning and history of the hanya.
My teacher is Saburo Ando, one of only a handful of master mask makers in Iwami. I think I drive him a little crazy because I have a tendency to make "unauthorized" changes. :)
My masks are fully functional as masks to be worn during Iwami Kagura, but are more commonly sold to put up in house entrance foyers where they scare off evil spirits.
Originally carved in wood, for about 100 years they have now been made of a washi (Japanese paper) base coated in a mix of lime (ground seashell) and glue. This makes them strong, but much lighter than wooden masks. It also allows for more flexibility in the form.
If you are interested in purchasing this or any other of my masks, please contact me through the address at the top-right of this page.
I can also custom make masks.

Red Hanya mask
Blue Hanya mask

Monday, June 2, 2008

Blue Hanya mask.

Blue Hanya Mask

This is one of my original Iwami Kagura masks. I've never seen a blue hanya, and no-one I know has either, but I was wanting the feel of the wicked witch of the north/Ice Queen. White hair is not unheard of, but it is not common. I chose straight horns, which are rarely used anymore, but were more common when the masks were made of wood. Lastly I lengthened and added a bunch more teeth.

Red Hanya
Regular Hanya

Iwami Kagura photos

Monday, May 19, 2008

Red Hanya mask

Red Hanya mask

Hanya Mask Iwami kagura

For the past couple of years, I've been making masks in the Iwami Kagura style. Iwami kagura is the local form of sacred dance theatre that is almost unknown in the rest of Japan, but round here people are fanatical about it. My masks are of course for sale, so if interested, please contact me.

The masks were originally carved from wood, but about 100 years ago new methods using paper and ground seashells began to be used. Like most Japanese crafts, making masks involves dozens of steps and can take several weeks to complete.
As well as being used in kagura, the masks are also put up in the entrance of people's houses to drive away evil spirits and bad luck.

The Hanya is a female demon, and in the original story a woman fell in love with a priest, and, unable to consummate her love, her face became distorted with anger and jealousy. Some sources suggest the story originated in the Genji Monogatari (Tales of Genji). The name "Hanya" comes from a certain gentleman named Hannyabo. He was a monk in the Muromachi Period ( 14th & 15th Centuries), and was a master mask-maker whose masks were really terrifying. There is a sense that the Hanya represents the anger and jealousy of any woman. If you have seen a Japanese wedding then you may have wondered about the meaning of the large hood that the bride wears. Its called a tsunokakushi, which means "horn hider".
The body language used to suggest someone is becoming angry or jealous is to put your hands to the side of your head with the forfingers extended to imitate horns.

To buy this or any other masks please email me.

I will be posting more images of my masks, and lots of posts on Iwami Kagura.

Blue Hanya

Regular Hanya

Purchase a selection of ema from GoodsFromJapan