TITLE: Kyodomen Raijin
TYPE: mask
GENERAL REGION: Asia
COUNTRY: Japan
ETHNICITY: Japanese
DESCRIPTION: Raijin Mask
MAKER: Unknown
CEREMONY: Kyodomen
FUNCTION: Celebration; Entertainment; Spirit Invocation
AGE: late 2000s
MAIN MATERIAL: wood
OTHER MATERIALS: paint

Kyodomen is the folk theatre of Japan, developed in small villages around local myths and legends. At the founding of a shrine or temple, local carvers would make masks to dedicate to the local Shinto gods or spirits. Wearing the mask invoked the god and allowed the invocation of supernatural powers to benefit the village. Raijin is one of these gods, the god of thunder and lightning in Japanese lore, who frequently carries a hammer or drum. He usually appears together with Fujin, the lord of the winds, who wears a leopard skin and carries a bag of winds (possibly derivative of the Greek god Boreas) on his shoulders.