It’s hard to tell whether making people look like mercenary swordsmen of feudal Japan was intentional or not.

The weather is warming up as Japan heads back into the summer, and it’s quickly reminding everyone just how much this season sucks. In urban areas, little green space and scant shade transform entire neighborhoods in heat islands, which are places where the heat hits you from both the scorching sun above and the blistering asphalt beneath.

And it is in such an area that Tokyo is planning to have athletes from all over the world run for 42 kilometers (26 miles) and thousands of spectators standing around for the 2020 Olympics. The city has been mulling several strategies such as shifting the event to the early or late hours, adopting day light savings time, and even having all nearby shops blast the air conditioning with their front doors open.

But now at a press conference on 24 May, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike unveiled their latest weapon against the heat: these goofy looking hats!


As modeled by a staff member whose face really says it all, these hats are made of a heat-and-light-blocking material that covers a radius of 30 centimeters (one foot). They are secured to the head via an always-stylish chin strap leaving your hands free to live-tweet during events or just hide your face in shame.

Of course, these types of hats are nothing new, but despite selling for a long time, they never really caught on with the masses — largely because they look dopey as all hell and have a disconcerting number of pointy bits sticking out at eye-level.

Then again, taste is a subjective matter so let’s get a general consensus online.

“Kinda stupid, isn’t it? lol”
“Looks like it’ll poke other people in the face.”
“Maybe if they made them a little smaller…?”
“How much money was spent on this idea?”
“You need to complete the look with a long blade of grass sticking out your mouth and a katana.”
“I’m predicting a lot of eye injuries during these games.”
“Or, this might sound crazy but… how about normal hats?”
“Mortal Kombaaaaaat!!!”

It is also very telling that while promoting these stylish chapeaus, the governor didn’t put one on herself. It’s almost as if she feared that she might look a little silly in one.

These hats do have their fans, however, generally among people who don’t mind coming across as a little eccentric or have solitary pursuits like fishing. Generally for such a fashion to take hold, we would need prominent celebrities to wear them first and influence their fans.

For example, here’s a member of the hit group Baby Metal wearing an umbrella hat while hanging out with Alice Cooper.

That wasn’t quite enough for parasol caps to get off the ground, but luckily the government appears to have a fail-safe in this case. They are planing to give them out to spectators for free during events, and when faced with the immediate choice between wearing a goofy hat or dying of heat stroke, people will finally be sufficiently motivated to wear them.


Source: Kyodo, Itai News
Featured image: Twitter/@Kageuranything
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