We found these at a market in Osaka, displayed next to kimonos and tea pots and other things you would assume would be sold at a Japanese market. We also bought a really nice glass teapot, which I broke almost right away. I refused to throw it out and kept cutting myself on the spout shard.

But more to the point, these little mask represent stock characters in Japanese drama. There’s a pretty, pale lady; a no-good-nik; a demon-fellow (or maybe a samurai?); a benign old guy and a rough and tumble gent. That’s my guess, anyway. Do you know anything more about them? Write to me and tell me!

They came in an oblong box, each one wrapped in old beige tissue paper. I unwrap and wrap them diligently whenever I take them out to admire them. One day I’ll make little heads and little bodies to attach them to.

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