May 4, 2020

Masks with Creative Designs Lighten Mood Amid COVID-19 in Japan

Written by Kumiko Toya

As the coronavirus pandemic has led to a shortage of medical-grade face masks and people were advised to leave those limited supplies for health care workers, Japanese people started making their own face masks in response.

Within a few weeks, # 自慢のマスクを見てくれよ (“Look at the mask I’m proud of”) has become a trending hashtag. Hobbyists and artists across the country are uploading their works-of-art on social media hoping to brighten up the mood in these dark times.

If you are looking for some ideas, take a hint from these creative people who took face masks to a whole new level.

mask imahamasukutsukuruhito 1Imahamasukutsukuruhito transformed the popular game console into a mask.

mask econeco 3Teddy bear masks designed by designer Econeco.  

mask mekabu 2Mekabu made them for her 90-year-old grandmother who loves kimono.

mask2 Coordinate your fashion accessories to perfect your look! Made also by Imahamasukutsukuruhito

mask rumiTalented embroidery artist rumi hand-embroidered Billie Eilish on her mask.

mask lightforce 5Masks made from rainbow reflective material by LIGHT FORCE. At night when illuminated by light, they show reflective colors at different angles, which is stunning and eye-catching. Perfect for nighttime runners! 

mask pisan 2A cute animal face mask created by Pisan

mask toko 3Toko made these adorable masks for her kids who love Pokémon characters. 

mask AA cool denim mask with a cat face. Designed by A

mask hinako 3Pop idol Hinako's mom made a mask for her daughter that goes well with her traditional Japanese archery outfit.

mask  Valkyrie-1 A mask that will surely turn heads. Designed by plastic model designer Valkyrie

mask tamagochan 2What a simple yet genius idea! Designed by tamagochan

mask lilithcafeShow your patriotism by wearing a flag on your face! Designed by accessory designer lilithcafe 

mask natwoA parakeet wearing a mask is quilted on a mask. Designed by Natwoe, a professional accessory-making and silk-screen-printing artist.  

mask piyoko 3Designer Piyoko embroidered Amabie, a legendary Japanese mermaid believed to cure diseases. Learn more about amabie here.

mask wasaisaiWisteria flowers hand-drawn on a mask using traditional silk painting technique. Designed by kimono-painting artisan Wasaisai from Kyoto. 

Are you inspired? I am!

I made a Koi (carp) mask using the pattern from "How to Sew A Simple Fabric Mask" as a basis.

mask tutorial 4

mask tutorial 8

mask tutorial 1

mask tutorial 6-1

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My Koi mask is perfect to celebrate May 5th, Children's Day (Kodomo-no-hi)! On Children's Day, families with boys fly carp-shaped streamers (koinobori) outside the house in Japan.


mask koi top 4



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