Kokeisai Sansho (1871-1926)
Osaka, circa 1900
A small okimono style carving of a mask, probably intended as a kijinmen representing a strong god-like character capable of dispelling evil. This type of mask is known to have existed before Noh theatre. This example seems to belong to the category of tobide, characterised by exaggerated features and an open mouth showing the tip of the tongue. Sansho has of course exploited such details for full comic effect.