Heads for Special Roles
Heads for one role (ichiyaku-gashira)
The same heads are generally reused for various roles by dressing them up in character. However, there are also special heads for one role (ichiyaku-gashira) that have been made for a particular role.
Heads with transforming faces
This head is used for transformations into apparitions and ghosts. This character usually has the face of a beautiful woman. However, the mechanism of the head makes the eyes turn around and change into a gold color, tear the mouth to the ears, revealing fangs and growing gold-colored horns.
"Nihon Furisode Hajime" Iwanagahime
This head is used in "Tamamonomae Asahi no Tamoto (The Nine Tailed Fox)." It has a mechanism to turn a beautiful musume into a fox in an instant. If the string is pulled, the face of a fox is released from the pedestal of the wig and covers the musume's face. If the string is loosened, the face of the fox is withdrawn, and you see the face of musume once again.
This head is used in "Musume Kagekiyo Yashima Nikki (The Blind Exile And His Daughter)" for the role of warlord Kagekiyo who loses his eyesight, becomes a wanderer and lives a poor life on an island. A rough crepe is attached to the head to represent skin long been exposed to sea breeze. There is a mechanism installed so that bright red eyes appear when eyelids usually closed are opened.
This is a head of a virtuous priest who has dignity and grace. It is used for Roben in "Roben Sugi no Yurai (The Origin of the Cedar of Tree of Roben)." Unlike other heads, it does not have a wig.
This is the head of Songoku, or Monkey King in the story "Journey to the West," who appears in a work that was often performed from the end of the Edo period through the Meiji period. A crepe is attached to the skin, and the eyes are gold-colored. There is a mechanism to bare Songoku's golden teeth. There are also puppets for his comrades, Chohakkai and Sa Gojo.