A Mask for All Seasons

June 2, 2009 at 10:50 am 1 comment

I have strange friends.

While I was in Japan last month — the peak of swine flu pandemonium — my American friend asked me to buy a pack of disposable face masks. “They’re cool! They’re like ninja masks!” he wrote in his email, requesting I buy at least a dozen so that he could parade around with it at night. Very strange.

Any other American would freak out if they saw someone wearing a mask. Bird flu, swine flu, cooties — having a mask on equates to being diseased. On the other hand, wearing a mask in Japan means you’re taking the proper precautions not to catch anything.

The difference in mindset makes way for a greater market for fun and colorful masks. Check these out:

This is a ‘wet’ mask for when your throat is dry. A damp piece of cotton creates a warm mist as you breathe into it:


Having trouble putting a mask on your kid? Give them a Pooh mask!:


Decorate your own mask with rubies and rhinestones:


Have a mask decorating party with all your BFFs!:


There’s so many other types: masks that won’t fog up glasses, masks for small adult faces, masks with menthol filters, and my particular favorite, masks that allow for room around the mouth to breathe. They can otherwise be very uncomfortable to wear. And if you find yourself constantly taking it off to get some fresh air then you’re defeating the purpose of wearing one. That is, unless your only reason for having one is to be a ninja. Woohoo~!


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Japan’s Top Products of 2009 « Japanizmo Staff Blog  |  January 6, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    […] And we all know why flu masks were big this year. When I visited Japan in May, I ended up buying a dozen of them because I was sick and everyone assumed I carried deadly diseases by default of being American. Luckily, there’s some really cool ‘ninja’ masks out there. […]


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June 2009


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