Japan rubber-mask makers happy to face a Donald Trump presidency

Saitama, Japan: While much of the world anxiously awaits what happens under US President-elect Donald Trump, one factory manager in Japan is all smiles.

Ogawa Studio, the only manufacturer of rubber masks in Japan, is working feverishly to catch up with a flood of orders for Trump masks since his election victory last week.

The 23 workers at the plant in Saitama, a city in Tokyo's northern suburbs, are trying to produce 350 likenesses of Trump a day, up from 45 before the U.S. election, factory executive manager Takahiro Yagihara said Tuesday.

A worker prepares the final touches on rubber masks depicting President-elect Donald Trump at the Ogawa Studio in Saitama, north of Tokyo. AP

A worker prepares the final touches on rubber masks depicting President-elect Donald Trump at the Ogawa Studio in Saitama, north of Tokyo. AP

The factory also produces masks of unsuccessful Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and other Japanese and international politicians and celebrities.

The masks emphasize Trump's characteristic hair and facial expression. They are first spray-painted to add natural tan to the skin and yellowing to the hair. Then an employee hand-paints details such as blue eyes for a life-like resemblance.

Yagihara said most customers wear the masks for year-end parties and other social gatherings. They cost 2,400 yen ($22) each and are available in Japan at toy and retail stores and on internet shopping sites.


Updated Date: Nov 15, 2016 15:21 PM

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