September 01, 2017

Book Review: The Mask Carvers Son by Alyson Richman

















Author:         Alyson Richman  
Publisher:     Penguin Group, New York. USA 2000.
                             ISBN:       978-0-425-26726-4 
                           Pages:       363




The art of Noh from the carver’s perspective

© Copyright. JapaneseCustomer.com, 2015.  All rights reserved.


Alyson Richman shares a wonderful story of a boy adopted into a family of Noh mask carvers who picks up the trade handed down by generations of the same family.

The story is based in Daigo a town three hours from Kyoto we learn about daily family life, nature, house routines (folding up futons and buck wheat pillows) and the role of each family member.

From the perspective of culture we gain first hand insights into Noh, its history, the components of a performance and the different kind of masks for each performer. The carvers life provides a view into the world of wood and tools, how to pick wood, what types of wood is used and how to carve a mask using a range of tools.

The traditions of naming a baby after birth and the Shinto ceremony involved and the impact of Buddhist traditions on daily life to always remember and honour the dead.

An interesting story that weaves between the characters, culture, life in Kyoto, strong traditions and the secret passions of a young boy.









Book Review The Mask Carvers Son by Alyson Richman 




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