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Mask factory, famous for depicting politicians, to shut down

  • JAPAN NEWS-YOMIURI
                                Ogawa Studios Co. President Nao Tanaka holds a mask of former U.S. President Donald Trump in Saitama City.

    JAPAN NEWS-YOMIURI

    Ogawa Studios Co. President Nao Tanaka holds a mask of former U.S. President Donald Trump in Saitama City.

SAITAMA CITY, Japan >> Ogawa Studios Co., well known for its production of rubber masks depicting politicians, will cease production this year.

The company, based in Saitama city, makes masks and costumes. It has seen its sales decline by about 40% since masquerade-themed events, such as those organized for Halloween, have decreased due to the pandemic.

Nao Tanaka, president of Ogawa Studios, said it is impossible for the company to recover from the economic hit.

The studio was founded in 1905, when it manufactured rubber balloons and other products. It began producing character masks such as zombies about 50 years ago, and in the 1990s, added masks of famous faces to its inventory.

A mask depicting former U.S. President Donald Trump was a big hit; the company sold about 20,000.

“The coronavirus pandemic has dealt the finishing blow to our business,” said Tanaka. “I’ll be glad if people who have our masks will preserve them carefully with their memories.”

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