Edo period, circa 1700
Lacquered iron; the nose detachable.
In Hindu mythology, the Karura was a sacred bird that ate a poisonous snake. When this deity was taken into Buddhism, it became one of the gods who guard the Buddhist faith. This figure is also one of the fourteen characters in the gigaku, a religious dance-drama that was performed for the Japanese royal court at Buddhist temple ceremonies from the 7th to the 10th century. Armor masks modelled after the gigaku mask of Karura started to appear during the late Muromachi period and show specific features: the beak is always wide and the nostrils are wide open in order to allow breathing without the addition of a mouth underneath.
Inventory Nr: 1875