Japanese – known as one of the oldest civilizations with a rich culture and art that’s developed over decades. Japan has a culture of conformity, and so there are cultural norms about character dressing. It is also one of the first known countries to make use of face masks, which are considered an integral part of the culture today. These masks have become a source of fascination.
Be it a school play, the annual festival, or just practicing martial arts, if you’re keen on adding more drama and appeal to your character, then you should consider using Japanese masks.
Japanese Oni Masks
The Japanese oni mask is one of the most important and popular masks in Japan. The meaning of the oni mask is to scare evil spirits away.
Their role has changed throughout history, but their image remains largely the same. These masks are worn by young boys during festivals and ceremonies that involve Shinto rituals. The masks used to be worn by thousands of people to scare away evil spirits and demons that would come out during those times. They were worn on people’s faces while they danced. Today the demon masks remain mostly as a part of entertainment and culture, even though they still can be seen on some ceremonies and festivals.
History of Japanese Oni Masks
The history of the Japanese oni masks is a long and storied one. The monster masks are thought to be a carryover from Japan’s ancient past. In the folkloric view, these masks represent demons, evil spirits and other supernatural creatures. These masks have been used in festivals to bring good luck and ward off evil for centuries, but the more modern use has been for entertainment purposes only.
The first oni mask was created by an artisan named Kon who lived in Aichi prefecture in the 8th century. He was called Kato Kagenobu. These masks were used in religious ceremonies and festivals, but they also made their way into plays and art forms as well. These masks were often very large and made of wood with paper stretched over them to make them look more realistic. The quality of these masks gradually improved over time as they became more and more popular.
What are Japanese Oni Masks made of?
The oldest oni masks were made from leather and paper, but now days, oni masks are mostly made from cotton, paper mache and latex.
Oni masks are generally made of a variety of materials now a days. The ones that are made of clay tend to be hand-made, while the ones that are made from plastic and vinyl take a mold from a real face.
How to Choose the Right Mask?
The Oni mask is the most important part of any oni costume. It’s the thing that will make or break your look, and your only means of communication with other people. So it’s important to pick the right one for your costume.
When it comes to oni masks, size matters — and so does shape. The traditional design of the mask depicts a hideous face with horns, long teeth and a gigantic forehead. Some modern interpretations bring to mind more Western images of devils, but others are closer to the original oni design. In addition to being available in various sizes and styles, oni masks can also be made from different types of materials.
Those who want an authentic mask should keep their eyes open for paper oni masks, which are made of thick pieces of paper glued together. These masks are sturdy enough to stand up to vigorous activity during an event or party, but they are often not as durable as their vinyl counterparts. Many times they will include a separate chin strap because the paper is so fragile that it could easily fall off without one.
Some people prefer vinyl oni masks for their ease of use and durability; others like their ability to make the mask look more realistic than lighter materials.
How to Wear Oni Masks?
There are three ways to wear an oni (Demon) mask.
The first is to hold it half face hanging in front of you, the second is to hold it over your head and the third is to hold it directly in front of your face.
Because the oni masks are made with different purposes and different oni characters, they can be worn in various ways according to the circumstances, like festivals, dance performances, and so on.
Where to Wear Them Out?
Oni masks are worn at festivals, during the spring and fall, to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.
The Oni masks are used in theater plays and other forms of entertainment, as well as in rituals and festivals.
Oni masks were originally used by the Onmyoji, or people who specialized in using magic to expel evil spirits and demons (oni). These days, they are worn as protective charms. The actual effectiveness of these charms is debatable, but they clearly work as good luck charms because they have been very popular throughout history
Oni masks are frequently used by Karuta performers, to bring the character they read to life. Karuta is a Japanese form of poetry where characters are represented by different cards.
Oni masks were used in Noh Theater, Kabuki Theater and other forms of traditional Japanese theater.
Oni Masks Uses
Oni masks are very popular in Japan. They are particularly used as lucky charms, to ward off bad luck and bring good luck. These masks are considered to be very powerful, and they are treated with respect. The Oni masks typically have red or black faces with horns, wide mouths, and big eyes. They are used in folk plays as well as festivals and dances.*
Oni mask are made for the following purposes:
1) To protect human being from danger;
2) To expel evil spirits;
3) To show a human being’s strong will;
4) To represent the human beings’ characters in the folk plays and festivals;
5) To make the audiences laugh at the folk plays and festivals.
Oni mask is a symbol of strength and courage. Wear it with pride!