PROFILE

Noh mask Artist   

Teiichi IBA

Contemporary artisan who realyzes expressive faces on his mask

Teiichi IBA, born in Shiga, 1951, is an award winning Noh mask artist. While previously working in other industries, he could never forget his artistic ambition of working with wood. Through the experience of Zen training in his youth, he dove into the world of craftsmen via the art of wooden masks, used by actors in traditional Japanese Noh theatre. While other craftsmen simply took over their family business, passed down from generation to generation, Mr. Iba began without any related background. He began to learn how to make Noh masks from his local teacher in Shiga, before later developing a deeper knowledge of Noh masks through studying under Mistue Nakamura, an artist who is known for her devotion to depicting rich emotions in her masks.

Receiving many prizes, in Fukui, Shiga, and other prefectures, he opened his own Noh mask school, based in Shiga, with the intention of contributing to the promotion of Noh mask culture. Thanks to the location, which was where the roots of Noh culture began in the medieval Samurai period, he has been able to do firsthand research directly from the preserved ancient masks in the Omi district (Shiga) with the intent of passing down the tradition. Likewise, to help prevent the loss of Noh culture, he assists in the production of modern Noh drama, most notably those based on the famous local samurai “Takatora” from the region.

Due to the design of Noh masks, altering the angle of a mask changes the viewer's perception of emotion, allowing an actor to show the more basic expressions such as anger, joy, and sadness. Many Noh actors select Iba’s work due to the subtle nuances expressed throughout the emotions permeating his masks, which are able to show much more delicate and subtle features such as sorrow, grace, mercy, and dignity. These emotions are made to appear through the elaborate wood carving skills which channel the essence of the artist's life experiences. This is how the Noh masks, played as the main characters of the dramas, inside torchlit Noh theatres, are capable of giving such dynamic impressions when reflecting light from flickering fire.

 

Professional Career

  • 1951 Born in Otsu city

  • 1999 Studied under Yuko Shimizu (Omi Noh mask sculpting Association)

  • 2002 Studied under Noh mask maker, Mitsue Nakamura

  • 2004 Established Iba Noh Mask Study Group (school)

  • 2005 Started Shiga Noh Art and Noh mask Education Association

  • Participated in Painting and Noh mask Maker's Exhibition organized by 3 artists

  • 2009 For Tokyo International House of Japan, his work "Zo Onna" was used on the poster

  • 2011 Designed Sunglasses with the designer, Eque. M. for French and Mercury exhibited in France

  • 2012 Exhibited his Noh mask for Biwako (Biwa lake) Biennale (International Art Festival)

  • 2014 held the performance "How to wear Noh costumes and Noh play called Hagoromo"  sponsored by Shiga Arts Foundation, since then planned more Noh Plays performed in Maibara and Notogawa as the member of  "Shiga Noh Art Advancement Association"

  • 2014 Conducted making of reproduction of Noh Masks such as "Myoga-Akujo" and "Daitenjin", the Cultural Assets of Shichijo Machi, Nagahama city

  • 2014 Studied under Ryoji Otsuka for two years

  • 2018 First personal exhibition of Teiichi Iba at Gallery Hana in Porta Kyoto

  • 2019 Involved in production and preparation for the performance of New noh play called Takatora in Kora cho which his original Noh Mask Takatora was used.

  • 2021 held on-line performance of new Noh play Takatora at Kashokaku Noh theater in Kyoto                  * Since 2011 his Noh masks have been used at Takiginoh held in Hachimangu Shrine,Nagahama city as well as  Shiga and Kyoto prefectures.

Principle Award History (since 2003)

  • Noh Gaku no Sato Award of Noh mask contest in Ikebana Machi, Fukui pref.

  • Cultural Festival Association President's Award of Noh Mask Festival in Fukui pref.

  • Grand prize (Otsuki Bunzo Award of 7th Noh Mask Festival contest in Shimakumayama, Toyonaka

  • Cultural Award by Higashi Omi city Educational Committee

  • Special prize by Kanazawa Educational Committee at Modern Noh-mask Art Exhibition held in Kanazawa Noh Art Museum

  • Award for excellence at Noh Mask Competitions 2016 held in Yokohama Noh Theater.                                    * and many other awards and prices

Activity History​

  • 2013-2015 Commissioned member of Shiga Council for cultural Affairs

  • Vice Chairman of Shiga Noh Art Educational Association in charge of the executive office

  • Contribution of the article "Zen and Noh from Noh Mask maker's point of view" for Magazine Zen Culture Vol.214 published by Zen culture Institute

  • Contribution of the article "Noh and Omi region" for Magazein Lake land and Culture vol. 160 published by Biwa lake Art & Culture  Foundation

  • Edit and contribution of Noh mask pictures for "Omi Noh Visit trough Manga" published by Shiga Noh Art Advancement Association

  •  "Omi Noh Visit trough Manga" was distributed to Shiga prefectural schools by Komoto Bunkyo Welfare Association (Public Interest Incorporated Foundation)