Values

The Emperor’s Black Mask

The Japanese are people who worry about consideration. This became evident when the Emperor and Empress visited the United Kingdom to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ. It’s the question, “Should we wear a mask or not?”.

Originally, many Japanese people wore masks in the fall and winter, and due to COVID-19, most people still wear masks. Of course, Their Majesties also always wore masks during their official duties in Japan. On the other hand, few citizens in the UK wear masks under the “Living With Covid” policy. It would be appropriate to follow other attendees in Westminster Abbey, where state funerals are held. So how should they behave when traveling to the airport, the hotel where they are staying, or the temple?

The answer was the “black mask”. They wear masks to prevent infection, but they should be black in color. They decided to do so. Overseas, it is said that wearing mourning clothes and a white mask is seen as odd. They judged that “a black mask would not be disrespectful” because the British royal family members wore black masks at the funeral of His Royal Highness Prince Philip.

Japanese people, on the other hand, were surprised to see the emperor and empress in “black masks”. Before the COVID pandemic, the only masks generally sold in stores were white. Ordinary people wore only white masks. The black masks were worn by a limited group of people: lovers of gothic lolita fashion, punk rockers, and local biker gangs. Hence, we were surprised to see them in black masks.

The concept of black and white masks changed when COVID broke out and masks became mandatory in the world. The variety of mask colors to choose from has increased. You can freely choose from many colors. Nude-colored masks such as beige and shell pink are in vogue among working women. Gray and black masks permeated the young male office workers. The era of “any color mask” has arrived.

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