Japanese Mask

The Japanese mask is worn during Shinto ceremonies and during No . It is a Japanese accessory that has been part of popular culture for centuries. Traditional Japanese masks are inspired by Asian folklore.

Thanks to the Shogun Japan team, you will be able to hide your identity with several types of Japanese masks: hannya mask, kitsune mask, or even an oni demon mask.

In order to help you in the choice of your mask, we are going to explain you the meaning of the different masks present on our Japanese online store (after a short introduction on the origin of this ancient mask)!

WHY DO JAPANESE PEOPLE WEAR MASKS?

why do japanese people wear cloth masks

The traditional Japanese mask has been worn since the Edo era. During this period, the shogunate was the undisputed master of the Japanese archipelago! Thus the wearing of masks is popular and ancient. 

Today, Japanese people wear masks in everyday life mainly for their health. A Japanese anti-pollution mask protects from germs and some viruses but this is not its main function.

With the advent of the kawaii style, the wearing of printed and colored masks has become more popular. So much so that the Japanese fabric mask has become a real fashion accessory. We call this type of mask: a masuku. Japanese people wear this cotton mask to :

Have a unique and trendy style depending on the colors, embroidered or printed patterns of their mouth mask. 
Hide a part of their face. It is quite practical, in the mornings when one lacks time to make up.
To hide their identity. It is very useful for Jpop or cosplay stars who are real fashion phenomena
The masuku masks of our collection are inspired by irezumi, yakuza and kawaii fashion. Some of them have an activated carbon filter and an elastic cord in order to be comfortable to wear (vs. the disposable mask with one size).

Nowadays, Japanese people still wear masks but only for certain occasions. Let's see together when it is appropriate to wear one and what is the meaning of Japanese masks?

THE FESTIVAL MASK

During the Matsuri festivals, it is quite common to see masks with the effigy of Shinto deities. If you want to travel to Japan, here is what you need to know

1. Where to buy a Japanese festival mask?
To be transparent with you, if you travel to Japan, you can directly buy this kind of mask from a street vendor. Depending on the festival you are attending, you can choose for example

A cat mask
A Japanese dragon mask
A Hyottoko mask
Okame mask
These light masks are small in size to fit children's faces. That's why Japanese people wear their masks on the side during matsuri. Of course you can also find them on our website!

2. The most popular: the manga mask
In the popular culture the ninja mask is used by the shinobi to hide their face. In the manga Naruto or Boruto, the kitsune mask is the accessory of the secret troops of the hidden village of the leaf. Each anbu mask has its own colors and symbols in order to distinguish the other members. 

In real life this Japanese fox mask is worn during the Kitsune no yomeiri gyôretsu!

3. How to wear a Japanese mask?

If you attend a festival, we advise you to fully immerse yourself in the Japanese atmosphere. To adopt a matsuri style, you can wear a yukata kimono. It is a comfortable and pleasant Japanese garment that you can see in many festivals or ceremonies.

You can wear it with a pair of wooden geta sandals and Japanese tabi socks if it is not too hot!

If you want to keep a more European look, then simply wear a Japanese haori jacket over a plain t-shirt!

Finally, add a folding fan, it's a good Japanese accessory to finalize your Matsuri outfit!

TERRIFY YOUR ENEMIES WITH A SAMURAI MASK

The samurai wore a mask for a completely different reason. He wanted to terrify his enemies on the battlefield. There are three types of masks.

1. The half mask loveai
It is also called the mempo mask. This Japanese accessory of war came to complete the armor of the samurai warrior. It represented a Japanese demon with sharp teeth. 

2. The Sonen mask and the hanbo
The sonen is a complete mask protecting the face of the warrior. These are rare and ancient masks that are hard to find! The hanbo mask was designed to protect the manton. 

JAPANESE THEATER MASKS

In Japanese theater, some roles are essentially played with a mask. The particularity of these masks is that they are handmade. These unique objects change their expressions depending on the light and the angle from which they are viewed. 

There are five main categories of Noh masks. There are :

women's masks,
men's masks,
masks of old men,
the masks of spirits
and demon masks.
The first Noh masks were lacquered and carved from hinoki (cypress wood). These works of art have been kept for generations in the houses of Noh. 

If you are interested in the art of the scene here is our selection of ancient masks 

1. The mask of the avenging spirit: hannya
In Japanese culture, hannya is a yurei. It is a Japanese ghost coming back to earth to terrify humans. In theater, hannya is the incarnation of lady ryuko. This Japanese noblewoman is in love with a destructive love which will transform her into a demon.

2. The mask of the Tengu demon
A tengu is a warrior demon. It is a Japanese character with a long nose who wears geta sandals and a long kimono. 

3. The mask of the wrestler and kappa demon
Kappa like to torment humans but they are especially big fans of sumotori. Legends say that they used to take human form to participate in sumo wrestling.

4. The demon mask 
In Japanese theater, a mask with horns represents a female demon, and conversely a mask without horns is male. Traditional oni masks express intense wildness! It is also an excellent choice for a Japanese decoration if you like the yokai universe!

HOW TO CHOOSE A JAPANESE MASK ?

The cultural richness of Japan is incredible, and even more so with all the Japanese deities, kami and yokai that gravitate there. The mystery that lies around these mythical and mystical beings is intense!

You have to choose a mask according to your taste and its meaning!

So whether you are a cosplay fan, an inveterate airsoft player or just a person looking for a Halloween mask, you will find in our Japanese store something to delight the Japanese deity or the otaku in you!