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Mask - 'Nakizo', Japanese Noh Theatre, 1945 Object Reg. No: HT 14206

Summary:
Wooden painted Nakizo mask, with storage pouch and box, worn for various characters in Noh performance, and purchased and worn by Masumi Hiraga Jackson in 1994. It was made by Kazuko Abe in 1945. Noh is an important form of classical musical drama performed in Japan since the 14th century. The principal actor, and sometimes minor actors wear masks. All performers, including the chorus singers and musicians, carry fans. Masumi Hiraga studied Noh Theatre at Toyo University in the 1950s and continues to learn and practise the art at the Hosho School of Noh in Japan. She performs in Japan and Australia.

Masumi Hiraga Jackson was born in Nirasaki, Japan in 1935, one of ten children. Her mother Kino was a skilled weaver who wove and sewed silk kimono, a highly regarded skill. Masumi studied at universities in Tokyo (Japanese cultural studies) and Canberra (English and linguistics) and in 1984 married an Australian. She immigrated to Melbourne in 1985 but sadly her husband died two years later. Masumi decided to remain in Australia and immersed herself in traditional Japanese cultural practices such as Noh theatre, Ikebana and Shimotske paper doll-making. She performs and instructs these art forms in Australia and overseas, and returns to Japan every year to see her family, undertake Ikebana lessons, practise her Noh performance and to purchase materials for doll-making.
Description:
Painted Japanese wooden mask with a purple cord attached to either side. The mask is housed inside a pouch, made from a Japanses fabric with a Japanese degin on the front. The pouch and mask are housed inside a wooden lidded box.
Statement Of Significance:
The significance of this item is its place within a collection which represents the personal and cultural value of maintaining cultural and artistic traditions within a new environment. The act of migration has profound implications for both immigrant and receiving country, with many migrants actively finding ways to introduce their cultural practices in an environment unfamiliar with such activities. This collection can help to explore the successful shift in Australian government policies from the cultural assimilation of the 1950s to the more broadly embracing multicultural policies from the 1970s. Moreover, its significance also lies in the intrinsic artistic value of the finely crafted Shimotsuke dolls, and the cultural heritage value of the collection of kimono.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Masumi Hiraga, 2007
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: japanese communities, japanese culture, performances, theatre, theatrical performances
Themes this item is part of: Masumi Hiraga Jackson Collection, Cultural Diversity Collection, Masumi Hiraga Jackson, Japanese Migrant, 1985
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Creative Practice
Tertiary Classification: theatre
Maker: Mr Kazuko Abe, Japan, 1945
Past Owner or User: Mrs Masumi Hiraga, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1990-2007

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