- 認知科学 = Cognitive studies : bulletin of the Japanese Cognitive Science Society (ISSN:13417924)
- vol.17, no.4, pp.750-760, 2010-12-01
A Noh mask carved of wood is known to express various emotions as a result of slight changes in the vertical inclination of the mask during traditional Japanese Noh performances. In Noh, a face that looks up expresses happiness, whereas a face that looks down expresses sadness. We investigated whether pictures of a downward tilted Noh mask and body postures in various inclinations could be recognized as expressing sadness. Picture-frames were extracted every two seconds from a movie playing the stylized sad act of Noh drama, known as <I>Shiori</I>. Results indicated that the participants recognized pictures of masks with small inclinations (i.e., the initial movements in the action) as being sad, whereas the evaluation of sadness diminished in response to pictures with larger inclinations. These results were similar to those obtained for pictures of the complete body posture with small inclinations, which were recognized as being sad, whereas those with larger inclinations were recognized as being happy. The evaluation was significantly altered between two successive postures in which the actor's hand made a large movement. In Experiment 2, the actor's hand was concealed by an object used on the Noh stage, but the results were similar to Experiment 1. As expected, participants identified the emotions expressed by identical pictures showing just the Noh mask that was used in Experiment 1, as expressing emotions similar to those identified in Experiment 1. Pictures of the complete body posture were recognized as sad when they had a small inclination, whereas those with a larger inclination were recognized as being happy. These results suggest that emotions expressed by complete body postures during Noh dramas produce larger effects than those expressed by the Noh mask alone. Moreover, the initial movements of a stylized action determine the emotional label of the action.