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.
God of entertainment. She is said to be the first dancer in Japan who made the eight million gods laugh out loud by dancing with his upper body naked when she saved Amaterasu from hiding in Iwato. The dance performed at that time is said to be the prototype of Iwami Kagura, the base of activities of Kobayashi, the creator of this mask. On the other hand, Amenouzume, who met Sarutahiko and became his wife during the "descent of the grandchild of Amateru," is also worshipped as the god of marriage. The beautiful voice flowing from the mouth of this mask echoes to the world, and the eyelashes shaped like a fan are meant to bring improvement, development, and success in one's artistic skills. The tear around the left eye symbolizes the power to transform sorrow and suffering into golden radiance. This aspect of the deity's face is a combination of art, entertainment, matchmaking, and glamorous blessings.
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.