mask

Fashion Conundrum #4: Does the mask add just the right amount of mystery with bare calves?

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The mask is many things: courtesy, self-protection, anti-social, or just wanting a few extra centimeters of space on the train. But with this bare calves outfit with jacket matching the New Balance running shoes, the mask also obscures just enough to add another layer of intrigue and attraction. Plus, it seems he reads.

Dear reader, would you wear a mask to attract the attention of foreign pervs?

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Winter costume, artifice, health, and hair

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In Tokyo, it’s always mask season. I remember how “shocked” the international media was after the Fukushima nuke disaster, to see the multitudes in Tokyo all wearing masks. Nothing special in the facial mask technology for radiation, or at least not yet.

Since the winds started blowing on March 1, everyone’s talking about the start of spring hay fever season. I wonder if the mask adds a certain mystery and allure for the wearer? Seduction through withholding? Could the facial mask be the Japanese unisex niqab? As much as I dislike winter, perhaps there’s something to be appreciated in the layers of costume, artifice, health, and hair.

Thanks to Al for lending me his camera.

Japanese teens hiding behind face masks

A British news story purports that teens are hiding behind face masks “in order to retreat from society.” Blame is predictably cast on the economy and “social insecurities.” My favorite is the quote from the teen who claims to only take off his mask after running practice: “All I can say is that it somehow calms me down.”

My advice to anyone who wants “to look Japanese,” wear a face mask!

Computer head moe mixes virtual and real

Masks are always moe. Using a computer monitor as mask takes this fetish costume to a new, of-the-times level merging the virtual and the real. When the guy spoke, his voice was distorted with some special effect. Somehow the rolled up over-alls add a layer of physical realness to this mystery man.

Fashionable guys handing out tissues

Outside the large stations, there’s always guys handing out free tissues. In front of Shinjuku’s southeast entrance, there’s often absurdly over-groomed guys distributing this amenity as advertising medium. Both guys are dressed in black, with seriously distressed jeans (one boots-in, one boots-out). I wonder if they go to the same hair dresser: similar color, although one has longer hair, the other taller hair. The guy in the face mask has obviously missed all these fashion lessons.