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Dataset Restricted Access

The Noh Mask Effect - Archive of Research Materials on Noh Masks and Facial Expression

Lyons, Michael J.; Campbell, Ruth; Plante, Andre; Kamachi, Miyuki

Contains materials related to research on culture and viewpoint-dependent perception of facial expressions portrayed on masks used in the Japanese Noh Theatre. The archive includes the images used in the experiments as well as various documents related to the project.


  • animated gif of the antique Magojiro mask tilting forwards & back
  • mp4 file with a comparison of new & old masks at different tilts


  • pdf of article on the research project
  • atr99.pdf contains a short summary of the project that may be helpful
  • manuscript of the article (latex source files)
  • correspondence with the publisher
  • final versions of the article figures


  • composite figures of masks and human face at varying tilts

Experimental Stimuli

  • folders XA, XC, XH, XT
  • only XA and XH were used for experiments reported in the article
  • tilt angles range from -30 to 30 degrees in 5 degree steps
  • XA: antique Magojiro mask from Edo period
  • XC: Magojiro mask from the current era (1980s or 90s)
  • XH: female human face, images rendered from 3D scan
  • XT: Ko-omote mask made by an amateur carver (collection of MJL)


  • 'behind the scenes' photos
  • view of the Noh stage at the Nara Shin Kokai Do in Nara Koen
  • view of the camera and apparatus used to adjust the tilt angle
  • shape images rendered from scans of the Ko-omote mask and human face
  • view of the Magojiro mask from the current era (collection of the Komparu family)
  • close up of mouth area of the Magojiro mask from the current era
  • view of the antique Edo period Magojiro mask
  • view of the reverse of the antique Magojiro mask showing inscriptions

Thank you for your interest in the project.

Michael Lyons, Ph.D.
Professor of Image Arts and Science
Ritsumeikan University
Kyoto, Japan

Restricted Access

You may request access to the files in this upload, provided that you fulfil the conditions below. The decision whether to grant/deny access is solely under the responsibility of the record owner.

The contents of this archive are being made available for non-commercial research purposes.
Any other use requires advance approval.

Please note:

  • Redistribution of any part or whole of this archive is not allowed
  • Posting images from this archive on the web and social media is not allowed
  • Public exhibition of the images in museums/galleries requires special permission
  • Broadcast in the mass media (tv shows, films, etc.) requires special permission

Please contact us beforehand if there are any questions or uncertainties about the terms of use.

The source of the images must be acknowledged by citing the following article:

"The Noh Mask Effect: Vertical Viewpoint Dependence of Facial Expression Perception."
Michael Lyons, Ruth Campbell, Andre Plante, Mike Coleman, Miyuki Kamachi, Shigeru Akamatsu,
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 267: 2239-2245 (2000).
doi: 10.1098/rspb.2000.1274

When applying for access be sure to describe how you plan to use the images.

Thank you.


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