I don’t know about you, but six months into this pandemic, my face mask collection feels a little stale. Joy, a newsletter subscriber, suggested a roundup of Japan-related face masks that would appeal to Soy Paper readers. Great idea, right? I usually focus on Los Angeles based businesses and organizations but there are a few surprises this time. If you find any masks that I should add, let me know in the comments!
JapanLA has a terrific selection of Sanrio face masks arriving straight from Japan on September 11th! These cute, reusable cloth masks come with disposable filters. Adult-sized masks include Badtz Maru, Keroppi, and Sanrio Flower Fairies. The Sanrio Mint Adult Mask 3 Pack features Pekkle, Tuxedo Sam and Keroppi. The Sanrio Characters Adult Filter Mask has a cute all over print with all of your favorite Sanrio characters. $18 – $53.
Japanese American National Museum
The Japanese American National Museum is selling “Gaman” masks in black and gray, as well as a variety of reversible Japanese floral print masks. Gaman means “to endure the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity,” an idea synonymous with the Japanese-American spirit during their forced incarceration in World War II. $10 (Gaman) and $24 (Floral).
Popkiller creates clothing inspired by Japanese and Los Angeles culture and their unique selection of face masks is no exception. I’m partial to their “Spread Love Not Virus” and “Yamato-damashii” (大和魂, Japanese spirit) masks but their whole collection is worth checking out! $16.80 – $20.
Little Tokyo’s Monkey Pants boutique offers a selection of handmade masks of limited Japanese and/or vintage fabrics. $20.
I love Giant Robot on Sawtelle. All their masks have sold out but you can sign up to be notified when their collab masks with Flat Bonnie are back in stock. Do it! $15.
The Grateful Crane Ensemble
The Grateful Crane Ensemble is launching a Vintage Japanese Rice Sack Mask Fundraiser on August 21st at 10 am. Made from vintage cloth Japanese rice sacks, these handmade masks nostalgically celebrate rice, a nourishing staple through good times and bad. All proceeds will benefit Grateful Crane’s virtual programming for Japanese American seniors. $25. SOLD OUT
These next few recommendations aren’t local but they’re worth a visit.
Kiriko, out of Portland, offers masks with stunning Japanese patterns. I need the Yellow Tonbo. I need it. $25.
Uniqlo’s Airism Mask is finally coming to the U.S. on August 24th. These masks were designed to provide protective performance while also being comfortable and washable. $14.90 for 3.
Resistance by Design
So this last one doesn’t fit in with the rest. And yet it does. It’s the Vote Mask from Resistance by Design. The 2020 election is the most consequential election of our lives. Please vote. Tell your friends to vote. Tell everyone. Please. $20.20.
Note: None of these suggestions are sponsored or use affiliate links.