Hanaya – is synonym of prajna, Japanese word for wisdom.
Some believe the name, Hannya, comes from Hannya-bo an artist monk who perfected the way the mask looks.
These type of mask are used by the traditional Japanese theater Noh Kabuki, but they are also used in Shinto ceremonial practices. The plays have a unique style and the representations are based on well known folk stories, most of them older dating around 14th century.
These Masks are used to exaggerate the feelings of the characters.
The most renowned character is Hannya, who is actually not a devil or a demon but passionate jealous woman, which feeling for revenge have reached extreme highs.
Hannya is very interesting choice for a tattoo, as it can represent the dark side of a person while in the same time highlighting passion and courage.
Most Hannya tattoos are complemented by adding other symbols to the composition, such as cherry blossom, koi fish, ocean waves, wind, fire, dragons and so on..
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