Leader: ASAMI Ryūsuke
Member: KAWAGISHI Seri, KADOWAKI Yukie, HANADA Miho, EBISAWA Ruriha
The objective of this project is to trace noh and kyogen masks that were passed down in the Uesugi family since the warring states period (late 15th–16th centuries). By applying interdisciplinary methods, we aim to understand more about the the noh properties of the Uesugi family and to establish new methodologies for noh studies.
During World War II, these noh and kyogen masks were brought for safety from Yonezawa to Tokyo. None were returned to Yonezawa after the war. Some of the masks were deposited for safekeeping in Tokyo National Museum, but it is unclear what happened to them subsequently. Earlier research showed that some Uesugi masks might be found in the Sano Museum of Art. In order to identify some of the missing masks, we will compare prewar black and white photographs of mask bags and mask cases with deposit documents of the Tokyo National Museum and with historical records of the Uesugi family. In art historical studies, research into noh mask carving and research
into textile history have tended to be two unconnected forms of investigation, but if specialists of these two fields can work together, combining their efforts in studying the noh masks and noh bags, this could help to establish basic standards for data preparation in surveys of noh property, an aspect that has lagged behind other areas of noh studies.
The Uesugi family noh masks are also extremely important in studying the special features of noh masks of the Kongō school, of which few have survived. Comparison will be made with masks formerly of the Kongō school in the Mitsui Memorial Museum and with masks of the Kongō school in Kyoto. This should shed new light on the history of noh.