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Not Mask But Face

A Centerstage quotation.

“The Noh drama renounces the use of the language of facial expressions by the employment of the mask…The mask is used as a method of processing what is raw and elevating what is primitive in expression. Noh masks, especially, go far beyond the limits of makeup and are thought of as having some spiritual, mystical significance. In this they approach the real meaning of ‘mask’ (which derives from the medieval Latin word for spectre): identifying the performer with the spirit of the character assumed.”

—Kunio Komparu, from The Noh Theater

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