I am the flesh-eating mask. Centuries ago, I was carved from a giant tree, which had a fragment of the sacred Shikon Jewel embedded in it. Since my creation, I have craved human flesh, and devoured my victims. But now, I wish to have a living body that will not rot. For that, I require more power from the Sacred Jewel.
It was sealed by Kagome Higurashi's ancestor who exorcized it many years ago and placed in a box. There it remained in silent until Kagome brought her shards of the Shikon no Tama with her to the present.
During the story
The seal on the box was then broken and set the storehouse on fire. It then tried to attack Grandpa, but instead found a faceless wooden warrior and attached itself, only to have it fall apart a couple of seconds after. Thereafter it started to attack him again in an attempt to devour him, but he managed to survive thanks to sutras he didn't write himself that were placed on his face. The fire department and police soon arrive. Kagome overhears a few skaters talking about the fire and rushes back to her home. Gramps is sent to the hospital, although he is not badly injured. While Kagome's mother stays at the hospital with Gramps over night, Kagome is left in charge of her younger brother Sōta. Meanwhile, in the shrine store house, some firefighters were looking around. One is attacked by the Noh Mask and it drives a fire truck at top speed. Kagome goes to the hospital and her mom tells her that he's still unconscious. She then shows her the talismans that he used to protect himself from the mask. He keeps saying "Beware of the Flesh-Eating Noh Mask."
The Noh Mask continued its rampage across Tokyo by driving around in the fire truck until its body began to decay. Several police officers set up a roadblock to stop the truck that the Noh Mask was driving, but it left the truck and devoured all of the officers until it was able to construct a new body for itself. Grandpa yells "Beware of the Noh Mask" as he sensed his grandchildren at the house in the shrine are in danger, that the Noh Mask then traveled to the residence and broke into Kagome's room in order to take her Shikon Jewel shards. Kagome was able to take the shards before the mask could grab them. She soon sensed that the mask had a jewel shard on its forehead. Kagome lead it away while entrusting her brother Sōta to retrieve Inuyasha from the Bone-Eater's Well to save them.
Kagome ran until she was on top of an unfinished building at a construction site. The Noh Mask was able to extend its body until it reached her. It was about to attack Kagome for the jewel shards, but its body was suddenly cut in half by Inuyasha's Sankon Tessō when he arrived. The Noh Mask began to reattach its severed flesh and explained that it needed the power of the Shikon Jewels shards in order to build itself a body that would not decay. Inuyasha commented that it already consumed too much flesh as he punched it. The mask split in half after Inuyasha hit it, revealed to be a trap when grew a set of sharp teeth along where it was divided and tried to devour Inuyasha by pulling him in through his arm. The Mask left its flesh as it trapped Inuyasha inside it and propelled itself towards Kagome. She gave the jewel shard to Sōta while she was holding it off. The Mask then chased after Sōta until he reached the edge of the building. It attempted to retrieve the shards, but was thwarted at the last second when Inuyasha escaped its flesh and used his Tessaiga to slice through the mask, thereby destroying it for good.
The Noh Mask desires nothing more that to have a body of its own, and is willing to kill others in order to have it.
Powers & Abilities
True to its name as a "flesh-eating mask", the Noh Mask devours flesh in order to move freely. Though, without flesh, it is simply a mask that is able to simply float and hides until it attacks an unsuspecting human. Once it gains flesh, it is able to form a liquid body, which allows it to increase its range of absorbing flesh. It is noted that the Noh Mask may have the ability to absorb a person's knowledge as it is seen being able to understand that it was asleep for hundreds of years and awakening in a completely different era, where mythical things such as demons and the Shikon no Tama no longer exist, as well as knowing how to operate a fire truck, despite the fact that motorized vehicles didn't even exist in the era before the Noh Mask was sealed, being seen driving it and controlling the fire apparatus as it searched for other shards of the Shikon no Tama.
Manga vs. Anime
- In the manga, the Noh Mask was in the possession of a woman who recently inherited it as a family heirloom. She was bringing it to Higurashi shrine in order to purify it before it killed her by possessing her flesh. In the anime, it was in the possession of the Higurashi family from the beginning of the story.
- The Noh Mask's organic body differed between the manga and anime. In the manga, it was a collection of fused body parts cobbled up into a blob-like form, still showing hands, feet and bare breasts. Due to censorship reasons, its appearance was changed to that of a dark-colored slime like form shaped into the outline of an Onmyōdō.
- The car crash it had involving Umao and Shikako, followed by the killings of four teenage delinquents were not present in the anime.
- In the manga, it breaks into Kagome's room all by itself. In the anime, it crashes a firetruck into Kagome's house and rams the ladder through her window with itself on board.
- In the manga, Inuyasha escaped the Mask's trap by pushing it off the building. He then crushes half of the mask with his hand. The other half that had the Shikon Jewel shard in it attempted to possess Kagome's body. Inuyasha jumps back on top of the building and rescues Kagome by cutting the mask with Tessaiga and removing the jewel shard from it.
- A Noh Mask was used in traditional Japanese plays. Noh is the oldest form of theatre in Japan. As opposed to Kabuki, which represents extroverted liveliness, Noh is calculated, slow and restrained.
- A conundrum is made by this mask, since the jewel shard in the mask was collected in the present and not the past, it stands to reason that the shard still exists in the past uncollected. This was brought up at a convention where Rumiko Takahashi was a guest speaker, who merely stated it was an error in logic and should just be overlooked.
- A second conundrum arises in the fact that Kagome had been in possession of the complete Shikon no Tama since birth, so it's bizarre that a single shard would awaken the Noh mask when the jewel in its entirety did not. However, it could be possible that the jewel hadn't "activated" yet because it was part of Kagome's body.
- Noh. The Inuyasha Companion. Harley and Dylan Acres.