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Japan is famous for its versatile culture and anyone who knows about Japanese folklore is also expected to know about Japanese masks mythology. I think masks are not very common and not a part of traditions in any other country’s tradition. However, in Japan masks are a customary part.

The Mask which we want to tell you about today is the ‘’Oni Mask’’. It is also one of the Japanese traditional masks. The Oni mask is also called the‘’ Japanese Demon Mask/Ogre mask’’.


The Oni mask is very well known and has a long, interesting chronology behind it. The Oni mask gained popularity after demon-like creatures from Japanese folklore. The Oni is said to be the more powerful and strong creature, the one that can cause chaos and destruction.

Some people believe that these are worn to scare away evil spirits and protect people from their harmful effects. Some believers say that this mask shows the worst and dark side of human nature. Everyone has a dark side to their behavior. It is said that the Oni mask reminds us we should care about the human personality.

Another belief said that these masks are worn at weddings and that the Oni mask brings good luck and Happiness to the bride and groom. And these masks are popular as Halloween costumes.


The Oni mask relies on four crucial elements which we must know before wearing an oni mask and these are as follows:

Trepidation: As we mentioned above there are many different beliefs about the Oni mask. Some people say these are for good quests while others say it is not. However, the traditional Oni mask is only a symbol of fear.  Because it is a common saying in Japan that Oni is just the cause of fear and destruction.

Hatred: it is said that wicked people transform into demons and they are beyond forgiveness. Very wicked Humans can also transform into Oni after death and even in his/her life. Although, these people have solid links with religion and customs.

Vengeance: many believers said that the responsibility of the Oni is to find out the lurched or sinner people and allot out sentences by the order of the ruler of the hell, King Yama.

Deception: it is said that the Oni can transform itself into a beautiful female or male and many people now also think that they also can do it after wearing an oni mask. In the modern age, many people also use an oni mask during performances to deceive others.


Japanese masks are their cultural emblem; each mask has its own meaning and some significance. Here is an overview of Different types of Japanese Oni masks:

  1. Hannya Oni Mask
  2. Kabuki Oni Mask
  3. Noh Oni Mask


As with many other masks the Oni masks are also available in different colors. With the passage of time, there are some changes in Oni mask colors but traditional colors like blue, red, and green are still prevalent. 

These three colors are traditional oni mask colors. Usually, Oni masks are red because red is considered to be an evil color. As red is associated with danger so do the Oni masks.  


These masks are not only the symbol of Japanese traditions but the Oni mask has also been used widely in recent times for different Japanese events purposes. The significance of the Oni masks varies for every person because it depends on the usage of Oni masks at different events.

In Japan the significance of the oni mask is much more than in other countries, Japanese people wear these masks on different occasions to keep in view different significances. For example at a wedding, the Oni mask is used to give blessings. 

New Year’s eve Oni mask is worn to scare evil Oni and to bring good luck at the start of the year. Many people use it as a Halloween costume.

Some people use these masks just for decoration purposes and use them as a hanging. 


Oni masks are very popular due to their special place in Japan’s religion and tradition. People like to wear oni masks during shrine festivals and events. 

These masks are widely used during Bean- The throwing festival usually called ‘’Sets bun’’. People wear these masks during the festival for dance performances and parents wear Oni masks at their homes to frighten their children and children throw beans at Oni mask wearers and invite good luck for a home for the year.


In Japan, it is said that ‘’ the eyes speak much as the mouth ‘’’.you can easily calculate the love of Japan for masks by this quote. Even in COVID_19 Japan attributed the lower number of deaths. Now, these Oni masks are not only a pandemic wear item but also a fashion and tradition not only in Japan but throughout the world. 

Japan has a long traditional history of masks. Japanese masks are famous for their versatility and best quality as well. These masks are associated with several cultural themes and folklore.

Japan produces different masks every year for some purposes therefore Japan has a special identity in the world of masks. 


In many countries, these masks are worn on different occasions but in Japan, these masks are worn on New Year’s Eve to scare away bad luck and evil spirits. Japanese people know how to wear an Oni masks in traditional performances and dances.

  • At wedding ceremony 
  • At cultural dances
  • Bean-throwing festival
  • New year eve
  • Traditional stage performance 
  • On Halloween part
  • You can use it as a hanging too.


What are the powers of an oni?

The Oni has much power; the powers which for an oni are famous are destructive powers of thunder and lightning. This Oni terrifies people with light and sound visual effects. Oni is capable of transforming both males and females. Oni can also have the capabilities of transforming them into any power.

What does an oni mask symbolize?

An oni mask symbolizes Japan’s culture. It is believed that the Oni mask is full of good and evil forces. This mask is the symbol of power and safety for those who believe them.

Why did the samurai wear the Oni mask?

All the mask wearers in Japan wear masks with some intention, the samurai wear these masks while battling or in any fight to hide their identity and also to gain spiritual powers. Samurais wore this mask to protect themselves from slashes and also to scare the enemy. Some samurai fighters wore the oni mask because it gives them a war-like appearance.

What is an Oni mask called?

Different masks are made with different materials and paint colors and all the masks have their own different identities and names. An oni mask called ‘’ogre mask or demon mask’’. Ogre mask or Oni mask is a type of Japanese mask worn on different occasions.

What is Japanese Oni?

A Japanese Oni or ogre means ‘’ a demon’’. In Japan, Oni is referred to as evil and scary creature.

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