Japan rubber-mask makers happy to face a Trump presidency

SAITAMA, Japan, Nov 15 (AP) — While much of the world anxiously awaits what happens under U.S. 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.

 

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.

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