Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art
A Japanese Lacquer Small Lid –“Hannya”– Meiji

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Lacquer: Pre 1900: item # 984452

Please refer to our stock # 46-B when inquiring.

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Ichiban Japanese & Oriental Antiques
Post Office Box 395
Marion, CT 06444-0395

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A Japanese Lacquer Small Lid –“Hannya”– Meiji
This is a striking small Japanese lacquered piece that appears to have been a lid to some item - possibly for a natsume - a tea leaf holder. Though it is just a lid, we found the technique to be so fine that we believe it can stand on its own. The design is that of the famous character from the Noh drama - “Hannya”. The mask sits on a multi-colored cloth and a flowing stream winds nearby. The details are done in several different lacquer techniques – small black and gold chips – makie – hiramakie. The lid measures 2 ¾” diameter and is 1/8” tall. It is in fine condition with a couple of rim frits.

The Hannya mask with its horns and sharp fangs is probably the best known of all Noh masks. The mask expresses the fury of a woman turned demon through jealousy and anger and who revenges by attacking. Pointed horns, metallic eyes and teeth, and the expression all exhibit the full wrath, anger and resentment of her nature.

Hannya is the story about a beautiful woman who fell in love with a priest. Her unrequited love causes her to turn into a monster who expresses the fury of a woman overwhelmed by jealousy and anger. A hannya mask symbolizes a woman who has grown horns and a disfigured face from the jealousy that she possesses. Typically a hannya mask as used in the theater to represent a women who has been consumed by jealousy and transformed into a demon/oni. The Hannya has become a good luck mask used to scare away evil spirits.

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