Taizo Kobayashi /Kahori Maki
Taizo Kobayashi /Kagura mask artist
Born in 1980 in Shimane Prefecture.
He learned the technique of Iwami Kagura masks, a traditional craft of Shimane Prefecture, at the age of 11, and established Kobayashi Kobo Co. While mainly producing, repairing, and restoring Iwami Kagura masks, in recent years he has been producing "Japanese paper relief works" utilizing the unique "Dakkatsu-ho" technique of Iwami Kagura masks, and decorating Japanese inns and hotels.
Kahori Maki / Graphic artist based in Tokyo
Drawing flowers, plants, and creatures from imagination, Kahori Maki transforms a single picture into products, videos, and scenography.
On top of her own creative pursuits, she has also collaborated with many brands such as Philip Morris, Descente, Apple, and Adobe Systems, working back and forth between analogue and digital methods.
She studied at The Art Students League of New York after graduating from the Department of Design, Nihon University College of Art.
The Hannya masks, with the upper half of the face expressing sorrow and the lower half anger, are said to ward off evil spirits because of their terrifying appearance, and are usually displayed on doorways as a charm against evil spirits.
The word "Hannya" means "wisdom of Buddha" in Sanskrit. The masks are made of bright colors that express joy, pleasure, and pleasure on the other side of the terrifying aspect of the masks, and they encompass all the emotions of joy, anger, sorrow, and pleasure.
It is the only Hannya mask in the world that not only wards off evil spirits, but also brings "good fortune". Please use it as a guardian deity of the place.
Shimane Prefecture consists of the three regions of Izumo, Iwami, and Oki, and is famous as the place where the gods gather in Japan. Every year in October of the lunar calendar, the gods from all over Japan gather in Izumo, and this month is also called “Kamiaritsuki", and shrines throughout the prefecture dedicate "Kagura" performances.
The Iwami Kagura of the Iwami region has developed into a performing art that is enjoyed by all, and has attracted audiences in Japan and abroad.
The people of Iwami love Iwami Kagura so much that it has become an integral part of their daily lives, with the custom of displaying a kagura mask on their front door even today.