UK markets closed
  • NIKKEI 225

    29,408.17
    -255.33 (-0.86%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    29,095.86
    -356.71 (-1.21%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    59.60
    -1.04 (-1.72%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,732.90
    +9.90 (+0.57%)
     
  • DOW

    31,391.39
    -144.12 (-0.46%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    34,072.74
    -687.55 (-1.98%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    950.43
    -36.22 (-3.67%)
     
  • ^IXIC

    13,358.79
    -230.04 (-1.69%)
     
  • ^FTAS

    3,771.68
    +10.23 (+0.27%)
     

Japan shop "buys" faces, creates hyper-realistic masks

Tori Floyd
·Editor
·3-min read

People have grown very accustomed to seeing masks over the last year, however chances are you haven't seen any quite like those made by Shuhei Okawara.

While is unique creations won't protect the wearer against the coronavirus, the hyper-realistic masks sold at Kamenya Omote, his store in Japan, make a dramatic statement for other uses.

TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 28: Shuhei Okawara, owner of mask shop Kamenya Omote, holding Hyper-realistic face mask poses for a portrait  on January 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. The masks, made by Japanese retailer Kamenya Omote, are modelled on actual people who are paid 40,000 Yen for the right to use their face and are created on a 3D printer before being sold for up to 98,000 Yen. Although providing quite a party piece, unfortunately they don’t offer protection from coronavirus. (Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)

TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 28: Shuhei Okawara, owner of mask shop Kamenya Omote, holding Hyper-realistic face mask poses for a portrait on January 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. The masks, made by Japanese retailer Kamenya Omote, are modelled on actual people who are paid 40,000 Yen for the right to use their face and are created on a 3D printer before being sold for up to 98,000 Yen. Although providing quite a party piece, unfortunately they don't offer protection from coronavirus. (Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)

The masks are created using 3D printing technology, and are created using the faces of real people. Volunteers are paid 40,000 Yen (about $491 CAD) for the use of their likeness. The first round of faces were limited to residents of Tokyo only, but in the future, more faces from further away will be included.

TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 28: Hyper-realistic face mask is pictured on January 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. The masks, made by Japanese retailer Kamenya Omote, are modelled on actual people who are paid 40,000 Yen for the right to use their face and are created on a 3D printer before being sold for up to 98,000 Yen. Although providing quite a party piece, unfortunately they don't offer protection from coronavirus. (Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)

TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 28: Hyper-realistic face mask is pictured on January 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. The masks, made by Japanese retailer Kamenya Omote, are modelled on actual people who are paid 40,000 Yen for the right to use their face and are created on a 3D printer before being sold for up to 98,000 Yen. Although providing quite a party piece, unfortunately they don't offer protection from coronavirus. (Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)

In November, Mashable reported that pre-orders for the masks were already selling out. On sale for the first time this week, the masks retail for 98,000 Yen (about $1,200 CAD).

The face "donors" aren't identified.

TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 28: Shuhei Okawara, owner of mask shop Kamenya Omote, wearing Hyper-realistic face mask poses for a portrait  on January 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. The masks, made by Japanese retailer Kamenya Omote, are modelled on actual people who are paid 40,000 Yen for the right to use their face and are created on a 3D printer before being sold for up to 98,000 Yen. Although providing quite a party piece, unfortunately they don't offer protection from coronavirus. (Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)

TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 28: Shuhei Okawara, owner of mask shop Kamenya Omote, wearing Hyper-realistic face mask poses for a portrait on January 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. The masks, made by Japanese retailer Kamenya Omote, are modelled on actual people who are paid 40,000 Yen for the right to use their face and are created on a 3D printer before being sold for up to 98,000 Yen. Although providing quite a party piece, unfortunately they don't offer protection from coronavirus. (Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)

“Mask shops in Venice probably do not buy or sell faces. But that is something that’s likely to happen in fantasy stories,” Okawara told Reuters.

Kamenya Omote already is well known for offering unique accessories for parties and theatrical performances.