Samurai Masks


What I love about Japanese design—whether it’s an orange sherbet colored mini fridge or a wrinkled and mustachioed samurai mask—is the craftsmanship and attention to detail. I’d trade my sorry ol’ 1970’s Frigidaire for a tabletop model if I wasn’t so fond of ice cream, and in fact, I’m guessing it was the sweat drainpipes built into their masks that kept samurai loyal, not their code of ethics.

I first learned about samurai masks a few years ago when the artist, Corinne Takara, created a mask activity for the Art You Can Wear Family Festival. Using one of the half masks (mempo) from the museum’s collection as inspiration, Corinne designed an awesome activity that’s simple, fun to make and fierce. The activity was a huge hit with our visitors, so I was excited when Corinne agreed to design a series of samurai-related art projects for people to make at home. The mask, which you can download here, is the first of six.

The projects designed for kids but are cool enough for anyone to make. Each activity will be introduced and posted to the blog throughout the run of the exhibition—look for the next project the first week of July. I wonder what’s next?

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