Have to Work Through the Coronavirus Outbreak? Here Are the Best Masks from Japan
COVID-19 is a serious matter, and ideally, we'd all be practicing social distancing right now. But life can't stop for everybody just because of new coronavirus cases, and Japan has been coming out with some interesting masks for everyone who has to leave the house.
- Not to make light of a pandemic, but while we're taking precautions to keep ourselves and others safe through this tough time, we might as well add a little color to brighten our days. Once the standard white, papery masks (so commonly worn during cold season in Asia) flew off the shelves during the first days of Japan's coronavirus panic, people started to get creative. We even saw hundred-yen shop Daiso creating displays of elastic, paper towels, and staplers, encouraging shoppers to create their own improvised masks. With a few more weeks under our belts, new styles of mass-produced masks are popping up all over the place, so we thought we'd share a few of our favorites.
- While masks are most effective at containing the virus (and not necessarily keeping people from getting infected in the first place), they do help prevent stray airborne "droplets" from making their way right down into your lungs. So if you're going to be wearing an uncomfortable face cover every day, we thought these fluffy masks made with real silk might be a good option. They're produced by FUNTY, a small Japanese lingerie maker, which might explain the masks' soft shape, materials, and angel-filled photography.
You can order them here on FUNTY's website, if you're interested in what is essentially lingerie for your face. The fancy mask comes with a fancy price tag - 3,300 to 3,800 yen for one, depending on the type of elastic used.
- For some more colorful fabric options, we found these colorful masks made by Keita Maruyama, with prints from their archives - offcuts from past collections. Not a bad way to use up scraps! Masks are more about function than fashion, but that doesn't mean jazzing them up with some 100% linen prints is out of the question. Why not?
The masks are currently completely sold out on the Keita Maruyama website, but maybe they'll dig up some new (old) fabric soon and make more.
- For that Japanese touch, there are always these washi masks from made-in-Japan specialists Factelier. That's right, these masks might look simple and unremarkable, but they're actually made out of traditional Japanese washi paper, thread and all. (Well, they admit in the product's details that there's some cotton in parts of the mask too, but we'll let that slide.) Apparently the paper material can still be washed, making it easily reusable. Pretty cool!
This mask's sold out for now on the Factelier website, but they still have a thorough explanation of how the mask is made on the product page, which is honestly kind of interesting.
- Last but not least, well, we're in Japan after all. Of course there are some absolutely adorable masks out there. We've actually mentioned reusable mask-making experts Gonoturn on JAPANKURU before, so we weren't surprised to find that they had some great options available when we all need them the most. Character masks with Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma, Doraemon, even Yoda from Star Wars and Sailor Moon characters, plus other interesting product collaborators like BTS... and then some more sophisticated options for stylish mask-wearers. They've got a fuzzy mask for everybody. You can grab a few online from their webshop, if they've got your favorite IP.
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Between collaboration items and special-edition limited-time-only goods, Japan has some pretty interesting products, and if you're anything like me... well, you can't help but be interested!
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