Look like victory with Kacciro.

While not quite what it used to be at the height of the pandemic, many people in Japan are still opting to wear masks, continuing a custom that existed even before COVID-19. It will be interesting to see how mask-wearing holds up in the future, but for the time being there’s still definitely a market for them here.

It shows in the sales of the formalwear mask Kacciro, which despite its high price of 9,500 yen (US$68) has eclipsed its crowdfunding goal by 1,000 percent so far. That actually only amounts to about 100 masks, but considering each one is handmade and hand-dyed from all-natural fabric and dye, the makers at Mylike (pronounced “MEE-LIKE”) in Tokushima City, Tokushima Prefecture will have their work cut out for them.

Even the elastics that go around the ears are made of organic material with vegetable-tanned leather size adjusters. Two types of mask designs were created with either a solid color or hemp leaf family crest pattern, each with the goal of complementing both modern formalwear and traditional Japanese kimono.

The hemp leaf pattern is so intricate you might think it was done by machine, but actually Mylike uses a traditional Japanese dying technique called katazome in which the pattern is stenciled on with a dye-resistant substance.

The color of the masks is also rooted in Japanese tradition. While at a glance it might resemble a simple indigo, its subtle shade actually has a deeper meaning. First off, the traditional Japanese take on indigo or “ai-iro” is actually slightly different from conventional indigo, in that it has a slightly more greenish tinge to it.

However, these masks are kachi-iro which is where the name Kacciro is derived from and has a more brown-greyish hue than traditional Japanese indigo. Here’s all the colors back-to-back:

▼ Standard Indigo

▼ Traditional Japanese Indigo

▼ Kachi-iro

Kachi-iro” literally means “winning color” and was favored by samurai since the early Kamakura period (14th century) as a lucky color in clothing and armor. With that in mind, Mylike created these masks for use to offer a bit of luck during make-or-break situations either in business, romance, or even just watching a sporting event.

But the Kacciro brand is also meant to be a symbol of how high-quality traditional craftsmanship from rural Japan can be used to meet the needs to urban professionals. They also hope to craft a Kacciro necktie with similar designs after this project.

In the meantime, Kacciro face masks will continue to be sold through the Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake until 15 August and are available in small and large sizes. Be sure to pick one up to add a unique touch of traditional Japanese class to any ensemble.

Source: Makuake, PR Times
Images: PR Times
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