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extreme masks

Just as people like to cover their books so no one knows what they're reading, they also like to cover their faces so they can't be read (their face, that is).

Contrary to popular belief, the ubiquitous white mask is more about preserving anonymity than preventing hay fever or the spread of a contagious disease.

The problem with a mask is that it shows too much of the face. As a result, late last year, the extreme mask started to make an appearance on the train carriages of Osaka.

The extreme mask took the mask concept one step further, but a step, it has to be said, which was possibly a step too far, or even a step in the wrong direction.

The extreme mask - good for preserving anonymity but not so good for seeing where you're going.

With people walking into walls and off platforms, the extreme mask soon lost its appeal. Other methods for preserving anonymity were needed.

After months of trying out various ideas, commuters seem to have finally found an original solution - large musical instruments. They cover the whole body but still allow the user to see where they're going. Below is a woman protecting her anonymity with a cello....

An anonymous woman.

An anonymous woman sitting next to someone who is not quite as anonymous as her.

Various instruments have been experimented with. Drum kits have been seen on the Takarazuka line, though they're not so popular as they take time to set up and dismantle, and on the Kyoto line last week a baby grand piano was seen hiding the faces of a family of four on their way to a baseball game.
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On Monday, 06 July, 2009, Anonymous Scotty.VOR said:

Only Chuck Norris can use a cello as a guitar...and then as a WMD.

Incidentally, those green seats are absolutely fantastic. Like sitting on a silky caterpillar, all squishy. Those crazy Japanese.  

On Tuesday, 07 July, 2009, Blogger Tornadoes28 said:

I think a tuba would be even better.  

On Wednesday, 08 July, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said:

I suppose a harp wouldnt cut it.  

On Sunday, 12 July, 2009, Blogger Munin said:

I once used a combination of an old Korg drum machine shell and plenty of sellotape to create a face mask for a anonymous attack on a friend. The only trouble was, he recognised the drum machine... and my t-shirt! :( It's nice to see demonstrations of how it's properly done. I'm taking notes!  

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