Solid metal masks were used by the samurais to protect their face in combat. Along with a large helmet and armor over all of his body, the warrior was well protected. A colorful and rather frightening appearance was also important. The superb set of full-body armor from the 18th century is the second photo. Its facial armor is not the same as the close-up. I will categories this mask in both the East Asia and Protection categories. Beautiful work! Japanese folk art, from masks to clay pots, has always been the best in the world… in my humble opinion.