Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Masked Men (and Women)

Yokohama - Masks are practically de rigueur for any serious outing in Japan. I think they probably really cut down on health problems. The only problem for me is that when my eyes meet the eyes of a passing masked stranger, as they often do, I wonder: "Do I know you? Are you my neighbor?" Then the question is: Do I bow and greet them or just pretend we never saw each other (which is actually an art form here that I have yet to master but am working on). If I don't know them, and then bow to greet them, I risk becoming the weird foreigner who always bows and says hello to everyone. If I don't bow and greet them, and they turn out to be my neighbor, I'll be forever labeled "that rude foreigner" or worse. Either way I'm doomed.... unless I too join the masked masses hiding behind the veil of anonymity.


This would be "perfect" for me!


When I first saw this mask advertised on TV, for some reason or other, I immediately thought it must be used to ward off the Avian Flu. I'm sure it must really work, if I were a flu bug I think I would definitely be scared off by this mask.



The CDC recommends that you use your sleeve to cover your cough when you don't have a tissue. My son has a technique of his own. I'm thinking about sending it to the CDC to see how it measures up against using your sleeve. Here is a photo of me using my son's cough covering technique (he uses it for sneezing t too).

3 comments:

  1. Happy New Year to our man in Japan!

    Enjoyed your story aobut your ten year old son very much. Have you considered sending in your musings to a publisher? I think a collecton of your essays would make a great cultural statement.
    Your biggest fan in Maryland

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  2. Taro-san, you might want to read up on and possibly research "vizards" - quite the rage during Restoration England - a vizard designed with an ancillary protective sneeze guard device would be incomparable. Ah, a world of masks - reminds me of sci-fi / fantasist Fritz Leiber's short story ( some point to it as the seminal classic that originated the cyberpunk movement) "THE GIRL WITH THE HUNGRY EYES". I think you should develop your own line of "face cloaks". Goodbye! Your Man In HoCoMerlin

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  3. Dear Anonymous (deux),

    Great comment but your so yesteryear. Nobody knows what your talking about. According to WikiaEntertainment (http://bleach.wikia.com/wiki/Vizard
    ), "the vizard masked army (仮面の軍勢, kamen no gunzei), pronounced in English as Visoreds (ヴァイザード, vaizādo), is a group of Shinigami that have acquired Hollow powers. Following the battle at the Fake Karakura Town, they have become central combatants against Sōsuke Aizen's Espada." Get with it man!

    -JT

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