Photo/Illutration All masks from Erisho are made by kimono tailors. (Yoshihisa Uehara)

Editor’s note: This series showcases what we are calling “kawaii” (cute) items made locally in the iconic Japanese city.

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A long-established kimono accessory shop is using traditional materials to create face masks that feel somewhat comfortable in hot and humid summer days.

Erisho, founded in 1775, produced masks for the first time this year as they have become an essential item in public places due to the spread of the new coronavirus. But it says the products are not designed to shut out the virus. 

To deal with the summer heat, the company recommends masks made with “hon-asa yoryu,” a type of hemp mainly used for “juban” kimono underwear.

Weaved with a technique called “kinchi” in Kyoto, the masks are light and silky in texture. They also seem to go well with “yukata” casual kimono.

Erisho also offers patterned masks made of cotton.

A limited number of masks are available at the store. Sales have been suspended on the online shop at ( due to a large number of orders.

Address: Teramachi-dori Shijo-agaru, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto.

Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.