Designing Your Mask

1. Front View



2. Left View



3. Right View



4. About the Mask


I colored some parts of it black. But the boy used to be human so he has some kindness in him. That is why I put white as well. Also the mask is going to be pointy to the front so that is why the sides are half half of the front view.


Abstract: This mask is definitely abstract because no actual cat looks like this. Also barks are exaggerated and emphasized.


Exaggerate: I exaggerated that mouth because he is the god of slyness and sly people do a lot of talking to manipulate people.


Emphasize: I emphasized the eyes because I wanted to emphasize the expression of being very sly. I did this by putting fierce patterns on the face.

The boy and his inner god

This is the myth from the long lost culture called the Reduna people:


Once upon a time there was a Goddess named Lark. She was the goddess of good, well being and birds. The people of Reduna worshiped the goddess going to the temple once a week. They also had sacrificial food thrown in the altar once a month. Lark was a beautiful goddess with silver flowing hair and a perfect face. As long as she was looking over the Reduna people, everything was perfect and fine. No one had any illnesses and no one was unhappy. That is, until one boy came in to the picture. This boy’s name was Fele. Fele wanted to be a manly god that could surpass the power of any other being in Reduna.


“If the Goddess is so flawless, why didn’t she make me perfect?” Fele shouted in to the sky as if to protest to the Goddess.


Lark was furious when she heard this. ‘Why, this boy is different from any other human. I will have to do something with him.’


She had an idea.


A few days after that incident, Lark came down to the human world disguised as a girl of 10.


“Hey, you! Boy there?” Lark shouted at Fele.


“What do you want kid?” Fele sneered.


“I have a message from the goddess.” Lark whispered close to his year. “She’ll make you a god.”


Fele believed this and said, “What do I need to do to become a god?”


“You have to climb up to the highest of highest places to be found in Reduna.” She hissed.


Fele thought this would be a piece of cake, but oh how wrong he was. The highest of highest places was a tower called the tower of happiness. It was a very religious tower and it was said that people who went up there received eternal happiness. Fele packed some goods in a sac and became to climb the  stairs of the dark, high tower. It took him a painstaking 2 months but he finally reached the top of the tower.


“Goddess, are you going to make me a god now?” Fele cried with a huff.


“Yes,” Boomed the goddess. “I am going to make you a god.”


With a click, Fele turned in to a creature that was neither animal or human. His face was abstract and no evidence of reality was shown. his head was very angular and the shape was a cats. His eyes were crescents with beady pupils in the middle. His mouth pulled all the way to his cheek. His face was black and white representing his personality. His head was covered in wavy patterns which was his passion for becoming a god.  His mouth was exaggerated in a shape of the triangle making him more sly. The face was emphasized as well because it wasn’t only one color, it was multiple. Also it was emphasized because of the patterns on the face. To sum it up, he looked hideous.




“This is your inner god!” The goddess hissed. “You are a filthy monster full of darkness and yet you desire to surpass the power of anything in Reduna! You are foolish!”


“This isn’t what I asked for!” cried Fele.


“But you can’t become something you can’t. Anyhow, you have become a god, have you not? You will stay as a god for eternity.”


This is why until this day, Fele is a cat god who is thegod of darkness and slyness. Because his inner god is a cat, he is the sly god. The people of Reduna still worship Fele the cat god by wearing a mask and impersonating the cat god in ceremonial dances called the Revena. In the dances he is doing good doing good things. The point is that the mask has to be worn by a handsome young man because that is what Fele wanted to be like and second because he likes to see the grief of handsome people being ugly. The clothes have to be all black when preforming because he is the god of darkness. That was how Reduna lasted, Lark the good goddess, and Fele the bad god.


If the Reduna people doesn’t do these rituals they believe that Fele will come to each of them and pull out their bad part part of their inner god and pull them to the underworld to live for an eternity….


Beware my little ones or you might just get it…



Masks of the Shinto religion

1. Kitsune Mask

kitsune 1


2. Tengu Mask

tengu 3tengu 4


3.  Hakushikijyo Okina Mask

okina 1okina 2


4. Shishi mask

shishi mask 1

5. Hannya mask

Hannya maskshannya masks 2


I am researching a very interesting culture and religion which is called Shinto. Shinto is ‘the way of the gods’. It is a Japanese religion and culture and it is a faith of Japan. It is one of Japan’s major religions. To sum up the Shinto religion as few words as possible, Shinto gods are called ‘Kami’. ‘Kami’ take form of mostly nature and people believe that when they die they become ‘Kami’ as well. The Shinto religion is as old as Japan its self. Masks are a major part in the Shinto religion. Masks are mainly used in rituals called Kagura. Kagura is dance and music dedicated to the Kami’s of the Shinto religion. Kagura can be divided in to two different sections, maikata and hayashikata. In hayashikata they play instruments and in maikata they dance with masks over their faces. Also the Shinto religion had a big effect on the Noh theater and it connects a lot with the 5 masks above. You could say that Shinto masks were used in Noh plays. A lot of masks have their own characters, are kami’s, or are from legends.


There are five interesting masks that I picked out from the variety of Shinto masks. The first one that I want to introduce is my favorite mask, the Kitsune mask. Kitsune means “fox” in Japanese. Some key words that come up when one thinks of a Kitsune is fox fire, trickery, and shape shifting. These words describe  the Kitsune very well. One famous Kitsune is Oinari’s messenger, the magic shape-shifting fox. As the Shinto religion greatly effected the Noh theater, Kitsune masks were greatly used in Noh. In the Noh theater, when the Kitsune mask was used, other people wouldn’t wear masks at all because the Kitsune was very important. This masks were also worn by a legendary creature called ‘nine tailed foxes’ which symbolized them trying to trick people and trying to gain respect from them. Overall, this mask symbolizes great power.


Now for the artistic aspect, you can’t say that an actual fox’s look like this so this is a definite abstract mask. The colors that are mostly used for this mask are red and white because Kitsune was mostly portrayed as being white in the legends. People believe that white in Shintoism suggests  shared iconography and origin. Kitsune masks can be made out of different materials such as clay, dry lacquer, cloth, paper and wood. The Kitsune mask has a large forehead and exaggerated eyes and pupils. The mouth is made very small and the nose is smaller compared to the other parts. We can tell that the eyes were very important to a fox. Also because the mask is a white color, it makes us see the other colors better. Also the ears are exaggerated because they are important as well. The design of blue outlining the eyes in a curve makes us look at the eyes more. Also there is a blue pattern down the forehead to the nose which makes people look at the features of the mask. By seeing this Kitsune mask you can clearly tell that it is a fox.  The expression is neutral and I think that one could do a lot wearing this mask.


This next mask is one of my favorites as well. This is the Tengu mask. A Tengu is considered a Kami or a Youkai, which is a supernatural being. The most important characteristic of  a Tengu is it’s long nose. Also Tengu means “heavenly dog”. This mask is often used for Kagura performances in the Shinto religion.


Now for the artistic aspect of the Tengu. Let us analyse the Tengu Mask. First it has a large exaggerated nose which means that the part that they want us to focus on is the nose. Also the Eyes are a gold-ish color which emphasizes the eyes particularly because it is another color than red. This also works for the eye brows of the Tengu Mask because it is black and not red. The materials that are used usually to make Tengu masks are wood, black and red pigment. The angry and serious expression is exaggerated in the mask. Therefore this mask is indeed abstract. They color of the Tengu mask is red because bodies of creatures of the underworld or demons often were red.


The third mask is the Hakushikijyo Okina Mask. This mask were used in the earliest Noh plays. However, it was a Noh and a ritual of the Shinto people. To add to this, specifically the Sarugaku troops. This mask was usually used in the ritual to play the main character of the Noh play which was often an old man.


Now for the Artistic aspect of this mask. First of all, this is very abstract because you can’t say that a old man looks like this. Also this is the color white whcih we can often feel the color as those of a old man. This mask also has two fluffs on the forehead which emphasize the wrinkles in the middle. Also the mouth is the only part that is red and it draws our attention to it therefore emphasizing it. The mask emphasizes the cheek bones by lining the cheek bone area in a circular pattern. This makes the mask look more like an old man. Also it looks like a happy old man. This Okina mask is usually made from wood, fur, or authentic fur.


The fourth mask is the Shishi mask. The Shishi mask is used for a type of kagura in the Shinto religion called Shishi Kagura. It is a form of lion dance and it is a form of folk rituals of Shintoism. The shishi mask is in the shape of a lion.


Now for the Artistic aspect of the mask. This mask is very abstract because no actual lion looks like this. This masks nose is exaggerated to be bigger than normal because that is what the maker of the mask wanted us to look at. The curly patterns on the forehead suggest the furs of the lion which brings out the characteristics of a lion more. This was made by using a chisel. Also the teeth were very exaggerated and it makes people look at it. The masks expression looks like it is angry because if all the wrinkles on the mask.  The materials that were used to make this mask is made out of stone.


The last mask is called the Hannya mask and is perhaps the most interesting mask. A lot of times people will see this and think that this is a male mask but actually it is a female. It is portraying a jealous female demon. This mask is often used in Shinto rituals Kagura dances.


Now for the Artistic aspect of the mask. The Hannaya mask’s mouth is exaggerated to be very big and is red in the middle of the white face so it is emphasized and stands out more than the other features of the face. Also the double chin and the eyes being more down emphasizes the mouth as well. The hair emphasizes the golden horns and we can tell that it is not a normal human being. The expression is very scary and it can easily scare people. The white mask means that the woman is of aristocratic status and the red masks mean that they are low class. The real dark ones emphasize that they are true demons. This mask can be made out of a lot of things but is usually made out of wood.


The reason that I picked this type of culture was because I am truly interested in it. I am very interested in Japanese anime and I see them all the time. A lot of my favorite animes are those of Shinto background. Most of them contain some form of mask that I have realized to be very unique. The two animations that I remember are RDG: Red Data Girl and In to the Forest of Fireflies light or in Japanese Hotarubi no mori e. First this is the picture of a scene in RDG: Red Data Girl:


tengu 2


The familiar long nose and red face, yes, this is the Tengu mask. We can tell that this is a Tengu mask and not a real Tengu because a character (Manatsu Souda) is taking in off.


The next example is from  In to the Forest of Fireflies light or in Japanese Hotarubi no mori e:


As you can clearly see, this mask is the kitsune mask. We can see the familiar long mouth and the pointy ears. Because I loved these animes, I gradually grew fond of the culture as well.


Overall, I think these masks are intersting. The Kitsune mask is cute and serious at the same time. The Tengu mask is comical and scary, the  Hakushikijyo Okina is intimidating, the shishi mask reminds me of Korean masks, and the Hannya mask is terrifying. I am looking forward to make my own mask because I have been influenced by these.




Works Cited

”            British Museum – Wooden shishi mask.” British Museum – Server error. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <>.

Claire), Becky Yoose (University of Wisconsin – Eau. “Japanese Shinto – Inari, the Rice God, and His/Her Messenger, the Fox (Kitsune).” Onmark Productions Web Designs & Buddhist Shinto Photo Dictionary of Japanese Deities. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <>.

“Hannya – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013.<>.

“Japanese Mythology – Mythology Dictionary.” Mythology Dictionary – Mythology Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <>.

“Kagura – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <>.

“Kagura mask 1-12.” Japanese Noh Masks Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <>.

“Mythology in Okami.” Okami World. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <>.

“NOH & KYOGEN -An Introduction to the World of Noh & Kyogen-.” NOH & KYOGEN -An Introduction to the World of Noh & Kyogen- N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <>.

N.d. Photograph. Early Women Masters. Web. 20 May. 2013. <>.

N.d. Photograph. Lost in Anime. Web. 20 May. 2013. <>.

N.d. Photograph. Lost in Anime. Web. 20 May. 2013. <>.

N.d. Photograph. Noh Mask 21 Web. 20 May. 2013. <>.

N.d. Photograph. Noh Mask 21. Web. 20 May. 2013. <>.

N.d. Photograph. Noh mask 21. Web. 20 May. 2013. <>.

N.d. Photograph. Noh mask 21. Web. 20 May. 2013. <>.

N.d. Photograph. Noh Mask 21. Web. 20 May. 2013. <>.

N.d. Photograph. Noh Mask 21. Web. 20 May. 2013. <>.

N.d. Photograph. The British Museum. Web. 20 May. 2013. <>.

N.d. Photograph. Tumblr Web. 20 May. 2013.


“Okina.” Okina. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <>.

“Tengu – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <>.

“Untitled Document.” KASSEBAUM CONSULTING Presents Shiiba Village Japan. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <>.

“Untitled Document.” KASSEBAUM CONSULTING Presents Shiiba Village Japan. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <>.

“What Is Kagura? – Kagura – Meet the Kids – Kids Web Japan – Web Japan.” Web Japan : Top Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2013. <>.

The Abstract Human Final Reflection


Front View of sculpture


 Side view of sculpture


Bird Eye view of the sculpture


The objective of this project was that we had to make a sculpture that communicates our passion. First of all, we had to make the sculpture abstract. Abstract means that we had to make the sculpture unrealistic. We also had to exaggerate the parts that were important to our passion. Exaggerating means that we had to make a part of the body bigger or smaller than normal. We also had to emphasize a part of the body that was important as well. This means that we had to draw attention or attract the person who looks at our sculpture to the important parts.


I used  a lot of materials to make my sculpture. First of all, I used the clay to make the shape of my sculpture. I also used the tools to help me shape it and make certain patterns. I also used tools to make grids to put slip on it and stick the pieces together. I also used slip. Slip is water mixed with clay that is used for sticking different pieces of clay together.


My sculpture is about eating. People can clearly tell this when they look at my sculpture. I chose eating out of the other candidates because I felt that I could do a lot of things with this topic and I was right. I don’t just like eating everything in my path, I like traveling to places and trying different kinds of foods. That is why my sculpture is different from other types of eating sculptures. First of all, my sculpture is all abstract because it is clearly unrealistic. The arms are the closest thing that is not abstract because it is made close to those of a humans. I exaggerated the stomach, the mouth, and the teeth because they are all useful in eating. Also unlike other sculptures of eating, I didn’t take out the eyes, nose, feet, or arms because they are all relevant to traveling and trying different foods.I But I didn’t exaggerate them except for the nose because I felt that it is very essential. I emphasized the mouth and the stomach. I emphasized the stomach by etching lines on the stomach so that it can draw attention to it. Also I put the hands on both the mouth and the stomach so it can be emphasized. The mouth was emphasized because it was more carved in and therefore it creates a darker color because of the shadow. I emphasized the mouth and the stomach because they are the most important out of all of the important parts.


I was successful at meeting the objectives because I made the sculpture as abstract as the sketch was. Also I made the Mouth, stomach, and teeth exaggerated to be bigger which was one of the objectives. I meet another of those objectives which was emphasizing. I did this by etching the stomach and making the mouth have more shadows. Also I expressed my passion through the sculpture and everyone can clearly tell my passion is eating.



 (Final Sketch) Front View


(Final Sketch) Side View and bird eye view


These are my final sketches. First of all some major changes that that I made was the mouth was a little smaller because it had to be carved in the body. Also the teeth were a little bit bigger. I found out that if I carved in a big mouth, the sculpture would not be that stable. That is why I made the mouth a little smaller. I also made the feet to the side so that it will be more stable and look more balanced. I made the nose more bigger because it made an impression of eating a lot. That is why I exaggerated it. The heads shape were made more square than triangular because this seemed to be the most stable.


Some challenges I faced were those about the mouth. At first, I didn’t know how to make the mouth like the ones in the sketch. But one of my peers said that I just dig the body and the mouth in to make the mouth. That helped me a lot so that challenge was solved. Another challenge that I faced was making the head smooth. Because it was a unique shape, it was hard to make the head smooth and even. I solved this by using my hands and the table to role it and rub it to make it smooth.


Although I did very well, I have something to improve. The back part of the sculpture is very uneven. Although no one looks at the back of the sculpture, I think that this can be improved. Also even though I didn’t mean to, some dust from the clay stuck to the stomach so it looks very messy. If I were to make it again, I would pick them out or smooth them with water. I also believe that I could make the surface smoother though it already is.


I received a lot of feedback during the critique which was very useful. Some very valuable ones was the feedback that the sculpture looks like it is eating it’s own stomach. It looks like this because one hand is on the mouth and one hand is on the stomach. I thought that maybe next time I could do a little different position for the arms. Also the back part of the sculpture was not smooth and irregular so I thought that the next time that I made the sculpture I could fix that part. I receive positive critique as well. Some positive feedback was that all the parts seem as one and that they were smoothly put together. This means that I drew the grid very well and that I put the slip on and smoothed the body right.


As mentioned before, although I have a lot of things that are good, I have other things that I can do differently to improve that quality of my sculpture. I would change the number of etches because it was too shallow and I don’t think that it was deep and darker enough to emphasize the stomach. I might want to make the head bigger because maybe I want to emphasize the mouth connected to the body and the head. Also the teeth were a little uneven than I expected. That is why I want to make the teeth smoother. Overall, I enjoyed making my sculpture and I hope to make one again.