A verdant growth of dew-laden pampas grass, the moon shining through it, has long symbolized Musashino, the broad grassy plain where the warriors of eastern Japan created the shogunal capital, Edo. As early as the Heian period Musashino served as a theme for literature and painting, and in the Momoyama period the bending, swaying, moonlit grasses became commonplace in the decorative arts as well. This pair of iron tsuba, large and small for a daisho set of swords, is finely decorated with the requisite pampas grass, dew, and crescent moon in openwork, and further ornamented with a hammered-gold inlaid floral scroll. The artist's name, Rakuju, is inlaid in gold to the left of the tang holes. - Hiroi Yuichi
A silk outer robe for female roles in the Noh performance.,
Expressing the joyful face of an old man, the Okina mask is worn by the main character of the liturgical Noh piece of the same name. Okina, a prayer for peace throughout the land, a rich harvest, and prosperity, occupies a special place in the Noh repertoire. Consisting mostly of ritual dancing and chanting, with no dramatic plot, its structure is totally different from other Noh plays. Its origins predate the Muromachi period when Noh was perfected. The hinged jaws of the Okina mask are a feature found also on pre-Noh dance masks; the bushy eyebrows and treatment of the eyes also distinguish this from other Noh masks. - Matshushima Ken
Bamboo flute with a mouth hole and seven finger holes. The nokan is the only wind instrument among the instruments used in Noh,and functions as a rhythm instrument.
The musical instruments used in Noh performance dating from the Edo era.
In the Heian period, the fragrance of aromatic wood was enjoyed by members of court society. The appreciation of incense became formalized in the Muromachi period, and many varieties of monko, literally listening to the incense" were established. Throughout the Edo period, enthusiasts of this widely popular game included members of the warrior class. This set of incense utensils is decorated with such plants and flowers as bush clover, chrysanthemum, peony, camelia, iris, and bamboo arranged in circular motifs in slightly raised gold takamaki-e lacquer." - Suzuki Norio
One of the earliest Noh masks to be developed, Koomote represents the countenance of a calm young woman, her neatly arranged hair parted in the middle, with three loose, but not overlapping, strands on either side. Ko (small), the first Japaanese character of the two that form the word koomote, suggests the youth, freshness and charm embodied in this mask. Reflecting the standard of beauty from the Heian period on, the oval face is full, with eyebrows shaved and repainted high on the wide forehead. The teeth are blackened (ohaguro), with a paste made of powdered iron filings and gall nuts steeped in vinegar or tea; this was a cosmetic fashion adopted by young women on coming of age. Although Koomote represents a general character type, subtle differences among masks are apparent. Some emphasize youthful freshness, some refinement, some a delicately erotic charm. - Matshushima Ken
The kotsuzumi is a percussion instrument shaped much like an hourglass, with a thin middle and two flaring ends. Drumheads of leather mounted on iron rings are fitted on either end with the two drumheads connected by hemp cords. It is held with the left hand, placed on the right shoulder, and struck with the fingers of the right hand. This set is decorated with a spring design of rafts with cherry blossoms in gold maki-e on a black lacquered ground. This kotsuzumi is accompanied by a storage box decorated witha design in maki-e on black lacquer of running water and maple leaves. The design allude to many poems from the Heian period regarding the Tatsuta Riber, famous for the autumn foliage along its banks." - Kawakami Shigeki
Embroidery with glued-on gold or silver leaf. In Noh, costumes decorated in this technique are known themselves as nuihaku.