Hakushikijo & Kokushikijo



Pair of Kokushikijō and Hakoshikijō

Wood & lacquer

Momoyama-Edo periods, 16th-17th century

Two lacquered boxes

Kokushikijō and Hakoshikijō are two variants of a wider category of masks known as Okina.

The Hakushikijō mask is used by actors performing the Okina dance, and for this reason the two names Hakushikijō and Okina are often considered equivalent.

The Kokushikijō mask is used in the Sanbasō dances performed as part of the same Okina programme, the opening of all tradionnal Noh progammes.

The basic difference between the two masks lies in their color: white for Hakoshikijō and black for kokushikijō.

The box containing the set of two masks-of lacquered and gilded wood, decorated with vine scrolls-bears the nine-ball coat of arms (mon) of the Hosokawa family, one of the most important in Japan.