While not all yokai wear masks, many do, such as the 3 yokai serving as Natori Shuuichi's shiki. Many of the other yokai that meet Natsume also wear masks.

In the story where Natsume was taken by some yokai to be presented to their boss, after he broke out of his confinement, he wore a mask to disguise himself. He also wore a mask for the same purpose when he joined the festival to take a magical kimono that enables the wearer yokai to be seen by humans. Thus it can be concluded that when a human wears a mask, it is to prevent yokai from learning that they are human.

Yet, why do yokai wear masks? What is the mythological background behind yokai wearing masks?


1 Answer 1


I don't think that has anything to do with actual mythology. It's simply a stylistic choice by Yuki Midorikaw more than anything else to depict youkai in that manner. In ancient times, masks were used to portray creatures and characters during plays and rituals.

It seems that that carried over into manga and anime to represent youkai when in human form, much like the common depiction of a ghost wearing a triangle-shaped bandage on the head.

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