Kurt Bell

A life of courage, joy and independence.

Ceramic Japanese Hannya mask 日本の般若マスク – Japan Antique Roadshow 日本のアンティークショー

The Hannya mask is possibly one of the best known and most famous of all masks used with traditional Japanese Noh theatre (please read below to learn more about Noh and its sister performance art Kyogen). The mask of Hannya is typically worn to represent the face of a woman turned demon through jealousy and anger. The mask offered here is a splendid example of Hannya with striking detail and a fierce, captivating gaze.

Noh (pronounced “no”) theatre is one of the classical Japanese forms of stage performance. Noh and its more light hearted and humorous sister art Kyogen are often performed together in traditional theater houses within large Japanese cities. In the past, formal Noh/Kyogen performances would last all day with several heavy and serious Noh dramas of different genres being performed with periodic Kyogen performances between these to give the audience a break and a chance to laugh. Noh actors are always male (even the ones dressed as women), and normally share the stage with an orchestra of traditional Japanese musicians as well as a choir. The actors recite their lines in old Japanese style (most Japanese can’t understand them and must follow the story with a written script) sung with trailing syllables oscillating with flowing emphasis. Noh and Kyogen actors often wear masks to help them better portray the character they are playing or to lend emphasis to key points of their performance. With the exception of demon masks (which are very expressive) most Noh/Kyogen masks are neutral in expression, requiring the actor to indicate emotion exclusively through subtle body movements. The craft of making Noh and Kyogen masks is an important Japanese art form in itself and many masks (particularly the dramatic demon and god masks) are collected by Japanese and foreign enthusiasts of Japanese culture.


Welcome to the softypapa blog. My name is Kurt Bell and I am delighted that you have chosen to walk awhile with me. I’m available on Facebook and Google+ if you have questions or just want to chat and say hi. I can also be found at the JVLOG forum with other Japan-related content creators. All links are listed below. I look forward to meeting you on-line. Have a great day!

The Path of WildnessThe Path of Wildness is easy to find
The course of a stream
Leaves blown in the wind
A beast’s track through the brush
And the direction of our first inclination

The Path of Wildness is an answer and response to a prescribed way of life which may leave some individuals with a sense that their living is little more than a series of pre-determined, step-like episodes between birth and death. The stages of living between these events: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, parenthood and senior are themselves natural and in accord with the needs of the species and most individuals. Many find their satisfaction in living this course and to these individuals I have little or nothing to say. Others though long for something more; something innate, genetic and seemingly calling. Adventure and change can give a degree of satisfaction and relief yet even these may seem too tame. To those who feel drawn to something beyond the entertainment and stimulation of senses I offer a walk along The Path of Wildness. Don’t bother penciling the event in your schedule, preparing a pack with goodies and supplies or even inviting a friend along, for this experience is along the course of your first inclination and you must surely always go alone.

The Path of Wildness Resources


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You can also reach me via email at the following address: softypapa@gmail.com



“Japanese Falls” image included in this video is by the artist Lane Brown. See more of Mr. Brown’s work at the following URL:

Channel Theme Music “Song For Kurt” used with permission by Nowherians. Discover more about the artist and their music at the URL below. Be sure to check out their “Rome Pays Off” recordings.

Channel homepage image “Leaf” by photographer Moyan Brenn.
See more of Mr. Brenn’s photos on Flickr at the link below.

Walking in Japan softypapa torii image


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