East Asia

Cute Japanese party mask

aaaMystrySolvd-746Q:  Could you please tell me what you can about these two papier mache masks- country of origin, age, purpose? One looks like an animal, possibly a fox, the other appears to be possibly a human caricature. I bought them together at a flea market last year and they look like they are from same maker. Thanks,  Sal, 746

A:  I believe this is an inexpensive mask made for ordinary people in Japan. It looks more like a cat to me. Both of your paper masks look like they’ve been used for holiday celebrations. Perhaps they represent anime characters. If not, they are stylistically similar. This is traditional Japanese folk art from the middle or late 20th century.  A-

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