Mask Up 2020 Do you want to create an original design for a face mask? Win gift cards for KINOKUNIYA and BLICK ART MATERIALS!

Entry Deadline:

January 22, 2021
(6:00pm EST)

Let's create a design representing
the U.S.-Japan connection!

Calling all creative amateur artists, kids to adults, to design an original design for a face mask, long a staple in everyday life in Japan. These masks will be good for everyone’s health and wellbeing, environmentally friendly, and pleasing on the eye. MASK UP 2020 winning designs will be announced in an online event.

Contest Guidelines:
PDF Download

Voting Period:
February 8-17, 2021

Winners Announced:
March 1, 2021


In Japan the phenomenon “date-masuku”
– style mask or mask chic – refers to surgical masks worn as a fashion accessory.

The word “quarantine” derives from a 15th century Venetian order.

In Japan this summer, cooling-type face masks were sold in refrigerated vending machines.

An Edo Period woodblock print illustrates a patient in a medical clinic wearing a face-covering.

During the 1918 influenza outbreak, in San Francisco, an individual not wearing a mask could face fines, imprisonment, or both.

A 1937 film “depict[s] a kiss with protective mask to prevent infection during a flu epidemic in Hollywood.”


  • Now!

    Until 1/22/2021

    Accepting Submissions

  • Now!


    Submissions closed;
    preparing designs for voting

  • Now!


    Voting open

  • Now!


    Voting closed; tallying votes

  • Now!


    Winners announced
    JF/CGP YouTube channel


  • Rama Chorpash

    Rama Chorpash

    Associate Professor of Product Design,
    Parsons School of Design, School of Constructed Environments

    Rama Chorpash is the founding director of the MFA Industrial Design program at Parsons School of Design in New York City, where he is a tenured associate professor. Before shaping this forward-thinking graduate program, he was director of BFA Product Design, Parsons and BS Industrial Design, University of the Arts. His pedagogy cultivates critical making; exploring what products are, what they could be, and how they might tangibly posit positive change in an uncertain world. He is also a recognized Fulbright Specialist through the US Department of State. While engaged as an academic, Rama Chorpash also balances a creative-practice where he has worked with clients such as Victorinox Swiss Army, Ikea, and Swatch Watch. His designs have traversed a broad spectrum of project types, from innovative office furniture for Herman Miller to a celebratory roller-skate disco in Central Park with avaf and the Public Art Fund in Central Park. Embedded in each project is an exploration of social-use.
    Work has exhibited coast to coast, from the Museum of Modern Art, New York to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He has had feature profiles in publications such as The New York Times Style Magazine, The New Yorker, and Co.Design | Fast Company. He has had the honor of being listed by Elle Décor as one of the ten most influential people in design.

  • Julie Pastor

    Julie Pastor

    Curatorial Assistant, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

    Julie Pastor is a curatorial assistant at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, where she develops and organizes major exhibitions and publications on modern and contemporary design. Her recent projects include Willi Smith: Street Couture (2020), The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility (2018), The Senses: Design Beyond Vision (2018), and By the People: Designing a Better America (2016). Her current research explores the relationship between design and epidemics and how changes in health care impact the design of products, buildings, and cities. She holds an M.A. in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin.

  • Jean-Emmanuel Shein

    Jean-Emmanuel Shein

    Global Director, Sustainability UNIQLO USA LLC. / Fast Retailing Co. Ltd. Japan in New York

    My name is Jean-Emmanuel Shein. I first joined UNIQLO in Ube, Japan as its first “Westerner” in early 1997 and have had the honor and pleasure of being part of many company firsts on the marketing and strategy side – from the first store in Tokyo’s Harajuku in 1998, to our first stores in London and our first stores in the US. Now as member of the Sustainability Department I am part of a new wave of firsts focused on supporting our communities from a social and environmental perspective, including the distribution of millions of masks to US essential workers in the early days of the pandemic – as such, I am quite familiar with masks and their importance in our collective fight against the virus.
    I live outside of NYC with my loving family which includes my spouse, two collegiate daughters, a rescue Chihuahua mix and two aging, but kind and very soft cats.

  • Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi

    Kanji Yamanouchi

    Consul General of Japan in New York

    Appointed Ambassador and Consul General of Japan in New York in September of 2018, Kanji Yamanouchi is committed to utilizing his years of experience to craft a new chapter in U.S.-Japan relations that will fit the economic and political demands of the 21st century, as well as the strong nation each has become. Ambassador Yamanouchi joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1984 and has served in a vast range of posts, including his most recent as Assistant Minister/Director-General for the Economic Affairs Bureau at MOFA headquarters. In New York, Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi has been initiating cross-cultural collaborations, among endeavors in many other fields, to deepen ties between Japan and the U.S.

  • Yasuko Uchida

    Yasuko Uchida

    Director, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles

    Yasuko Uchida serves as Director of The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles where she engages in developing wide range of programs and grants aimed at supporting Japanese language education and presenting cross-cultural programs in the United States. Before coming to the United States, she served in positions such as Director of Educational Training Section, the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai, and Master of the Ceremony at the Imperial Household Agency. Her overseas experiences include Director of JF Bangkok, Thailand, as well as JF Sydney, Australia.

  • Masaya Shimoyama

    Masaya Shimoyama

    Director General, The Japan Foundation, New York

    Masaya Shimoyama serves as Director General of The Japan Foundation, New York and Director, The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, New York; he arrived in New York in September of this year. He has served in various positions at the Foundation’s Tokyo headquarters including, Managing Director of the Japanese Language Division II, the Asia Center, and the Financial Affairs Department. In addition, he has severed in a number of overseas posts, most recently in Paris at the Secretariat for JAPONISMES 2018, the Director General of JF Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and his first overseas post was in JF Jakarta, Indonesia.




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