It is common knowledge that the Japanese adore wearing masks. May it be a religious festival, where it is an essential part of the fun or the samurai trying to intimidate their adversary, people in Japan often turn to masks; moreover, when it is the beginning of the (cedar) allergy-season, medical masks come in handy. These, of course, are purely practical items; however, the Japanese don’t mind admitting that they like the anonimity provided by the mask in their crowded cities. What kind of masks can we see if we visit Japan? Let’s have a look!
Samurai masks: these masks were crafted and painted uniquely to suit the personality of the samurai as well as to scare the adversary. Samurai masks are called mempo and they also serve to protect the face of the fighter.
Kendo masks: kendo, or „the way of the sword”is an ancient Japanese form of martial art, in which the opponents fight with two bamboo swords, hitting each other (according to strict rules, of course). Kendo masks have bars to protect the face and neck of the fighters.
Hyotokko and Okame masks: now these two are jolly figures indeed! Hyotokko, according to the ancient tale, is a funny-faced boy who can make gold by pushing his belly button…Okame is his female counterpart and they are often portrayed together as a couple or sister and brother. They both bring luck and are often seen at festivals.
Oni masks: the oni, this monsterous demon-figure, is an integral part of the setsubun, or spring festival. Its main goal is to give children a fright: parents often dress up as the oni to scare their kids who throw beans at them in return– and that’s enough to chase the oni away! Still, the oni mask is hairy and really scary!
Traditional noh masks: noh theatre is a typical Japanese thing, it’s been around for centuries, performing musical dramas on stage. In the past, only men could act on stage, so they put on masks to play female characters. Nowadays also women can play in noh theatre, but they still have to wear masks! These masks are exquisite objects of art each: they change as one looks at them from varying angles to reflect different facial expressions!
Kitsune-or fox masks: the fox is a popular figure in Japanese mythology, considered the messenger of goddess Inari, but sometimes it also lends its body to other deities, too. Furthermore, foxes themselves are able to trannsform into beautiful women, for instance, to trick humans! Fox masks are abound at fox-themed festivals, and they also bring luck!
Sushi Sei, the Japanese restaurant in Óbuda awaits you in peaceful surroundings and with exclusive services! High-quality ingredients, genuine recipes and award-winning chefs provide gourmet experience, while excellent service and stylish atmosphere will make you feel relaxed. Celebrate in our restaurant with family, friends or colleagues! Book a table for an intimate evening with your loved ones. If you feel more like having our delicacies at home, we deliver them to you!