Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Nobunaga's Death Mask
Oda Nobunaga's so-called death mask has been in the news again. https://www.facebook.com/SamuraiHistoryCultureJapan/posts/664978376914024
It looks like Nobunaga's African attendant Yasuke took Nobunaga's so nobody from the Akechi army could get their hands on it. It seems that the mask was molded from soft clay. Here is my take on this: I think it is fake. The only way to prove that the mask is not a hoax is test it by carbon dating. If the mask dates to the 1580s, then there might be a chance the mask is original. If not, then the mask is a fake.
Death masks were popular in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It was used in Europe when the face was disfigured. However, it was really a French fad and did not become popular until the French Revolution. As for 16th century Spain and Portugal? No evidence so far and it was highly possible that Yasuke did not know what a death mask was.
That being said, if you read the link entirely, the story is interesting. Which it is. It is nothing more than fantasy history, which is fine by me if you separate fact from fiction. One other important matter regarding the mask, Nobunaga's body was never found.
Tenka no tame!