Creepy 3-D copies of real people’s faces for sale in Japan

New year, new face?

A Japanese designer dreamed up a disguise of nightmarish origins: a three-dimensional replica of another person’s face.

The 3-D-printed masks, created by Shuhei Okawara, aren’t made for coronavirus prevention, Reuters reported. Rather, they’re intended for cosplay, both public and private.

“Mask shops in Venice probably do not buy or sell faces. But that is something that’s likely to happen in fantasy stories,” Okawara, 30, told Reuters.

“I thought it would be fun to actually do that.”

The faces are that of real, anonymous Japanese adults, to whom Okawara paid 40,000 yen each (about $386) to sell their likenesses in mask form. More than 100 people applied to be copied.

Shuhei Okawara's 3-D printed masks model after real human faces.
Shuhei Okawara

The masks will be made available for sale early next year for 98,000 yen each, or about $946, at Okawara’s Tokyo shop, Kamenya Omote, which specializes in costuming and theatrical wares.

The mask-maker is confident his uncanny product will sell well, he told Reuters, and hopes to soon add more real faces to the roster, including those not of Japanese descent.

“As is often the case with the customers of my shop, there are not so many people who buy [masks] for specific purposes. Most see them as art pieces,” Okawara said.