Hikime-Kagibana (引目鉤鼻)

Hikime-kagibana is a typological and stylized description technique for the eyes and nose of a person's face, used in the Yamato-e paintings (traditional Japanese style painting of the late Heian and Kamakura periods dealing with Japanese themes) and fuzokuga (pictures of manners and customs) during the Heian and Kamakura periods. This technique is considered to be unique to Japan.

The closed eyes are drawn in black ink as narrow lines, and the external nose, which is flat, is drawn in a short shape of the Japanese letter "く".

Other characteristics include the face line being shimo-bukure (a face line with lower parts of the face full-fleshed) and the mouth drawn as a red, small dot.

The subject depicted is often someone of high class.

Early examples of hikime-kagibana can be found in the Shotokutaishi-Eden (Illustrated Biography of Prince Shotoku) in Horyu-ji Temple; good examples include persons in the Genji Monogatari Emaki (the Illustrated Handscroll of the Tale of Genji) and in the designs of the Senmen Koshakyo (Ancient Sutra Manuscripts on a Fan).

Sometimes, what looks like pupils may be faintly drawn in the eyes; the eyes may be tilted to in a manner to hint at the state of mind and the facial expression of the subject.

[Original Japanese]