Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Facial expressions in Geishas and Nohs

The majority of my posts have been mainly focused on how emotions can be read through facial expressions.  Although, there are other ways to unfold and demonstrate our emotions, for example, masks and face paintings. In the Japanese and Chinese cultures geishas are a very unique and traditional way of expressing who we are and what we feel. Geishas are entertainers that are trained to portrait great art, excellent dancing, and music. The Geisha came to life when long ago Japanese men traveled to Europe and came back speaking about “white beauties”. This was interoperated as having an actual white face. Many women who are Geishas serviced many American soldiers during times of war. A Geisha consists of having an extremely white face to represent kindness, loyalty and purification.  They must also have a lick layer of eye liner to show their elegance and formality. Lastly, they must wear deep red lipstick. Their red lip stick represents their power, passion, desire, and love.  Although Geishas are entertainers, they can sometimes be seen as prostitutes or call girls.   
A very traditional type of mask in the Japanese culture is a Noh. These very special masks are used in theaters and when performing a cultural dance. This mask gives the actor a certain power to every performer. They are mainly used in religious conditions and are highly valuable. Most of the masks have been in a family for many generations. There are six types of masks: Okina (old man’s mask), Jo (elders mask), Onna-men (woman masks), Kishin(demons), Onryo(gosts and spirits). When a person wears a Noh, they transform into a different spirit and spiritually leave the human world. They are sucked in to a new world where they are communicating with their ancestors. Each mask represents feelings and emotions without showing a single part of their faces.

Facial expressions might be much easier to understand and interoperate, but masks and face painting are much more meaning full than any smile or frown.            


1 comment:

  1. It's really cool that you wrote about the Japanese culture. I didn't know about this masks. I just had seen the geisha, but didn't know about their history neither the name of the masks. I would this masks the Japanese. masks. Know I know more about the masks and how are they used.
    Berenice S.