The World of Noh Masks: A Lecture & Demonstration by Master Carver Hideta Kitazawa

Lecture & Demonstration

The World of Noh Masks
A Lecture & Demonstration by Master Carver Hideta Kitazawa


Date & Time:
Tuesday, October 16 @7pm

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
(5700 Wilshire Blvd., #100 Los Angeles, CA 90036)

*Street parking is available near JFLA. Click here for parking info.

This Event is FULL.


About the Event:

Noh is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed for more than 650 years. The most obvious characteristic of Noh is that the main actor performs while wearing a mask of exceptional beauty. A mask plays one of the most important functions of Noh performance. It is said that a mask not only serves as makeup, but also as a fetish that gives supernatural power to the Noh performer.  

HIDETA KITAZAWA has worked extensively with non-Japanese performers to create evocative contemporary masks. His interaction with playwrights, actors and directors leads him to the creation of forms that fit their vision. His masks grow from a deep knowledge and thorough mastery of the centuries-old techniques of traditional mask-making. A single block of hinoki -- a Japanese cypress -- is chosen, and after preparing a clay model, chisel is laid to grain. Meticulously painted watercolors are applied to gesso-coated wood, and the actor brings the mask to life on stage.

In this lecture, Maestro Kitazawa will explain the process of Noh mask making. Also, you will have a rare opportunity to touch and wear some of his masks to feel their supernatural power.



Lecturer/Master Carver

Hideta Kitazawa is a woodcarving artist specializing in masks and Shinto temples. He graduated from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in 1991 with a major in Forestry and went on to study woodcarving intensely with his father Ikkyou Kitazawa. In 1993 he began carving masks under the guidance of master artisan Michihiko Ito.

He has received numerous honors, including the Outstanding Youth Artesian Award for Tokyo 1997 and the Yokohama Noh Drama Hall Director’s Prize in 2003. In 2014 he received the title of Master Woodcarver from the mayor of Katsushika City in Tokyo.

He has exhibited his works nationally and internationally, and his carvings for Shinto floats and o-mikoshi are used throughout Japan’s Kanto region. His masks are also used by many noh and kyogen professionals as well as by non-Japanese performers.



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