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Page 14

13th Dec 2019, 4:00 PM in Dog House
Page 14
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Author Notes:

Scott D. 13th Dec 2019, 4:00 PM
Scott D.
I've talked in previous pages about Japanese architecture, cuisine, and idioms, but I'm going to take a bit of time to talk about art. More specifically, that wicked mask. Mister Akita's mask is based on a supernatural being known as oni, a sort of demon, troll, or ogre, recognised by its huge horns and teeth, tiger pelt loincloth, and the studded club it wields, called a kanabō. Masks depicting such entities are often seen during Setsubun, a festival held to celebrate the coming of spring, during which people will throw beans as part of a ritual to cast out evil in time for the new beginnings (a lot of things start during spring in Japanese culture). Of course, some parents just like to wear these wooden masks to frighten the daylights out of their kids. It's all good, clean fun, and I think that's the part Mister Akita probably enjoys the most. Other depictions of fearsome demons include namahage, a colourful, mountain-dwelling beast who serves as a warning for the children of Oga to behave themselves to avoid a visit, and hannya, a popular character in Noh theatre.
—Scott D.

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