By TAKUNORI YASUDA/ Staff Writer
August 3, 2020 at 07:00 JST
TOBA, Mie Prefecture--Trying to stand out amid today’s sea of face masks is not easy for Japan's fashion-conscious, but a jeweler here has a way to make them more glamorous: pearl accessories.
The Ise Shima Pearl Gallery’s pearl mask accessories have caught on with customers who still want to “dress in a sophisticated way as much as possible” despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
They come in two types: one made with Akoya pearls cultured in Ago Bay in Mie Prefecture’s Shima, and another done with pearls raised in fresh water.
Yumiko Okuno, managing director of the Ise Shima Pearl Gallery, had the idea for the accessories when the store closed between mid-April and early May, in response to requests by the Japanese government for businesses to shut to stem the pandemic.
“I was thinking about what I could do that would help customers liven up their looks even though they’re stuck with wearing their masks,” Okuno recalled.
The store’s pearl accessories also can be used as necklaces if they are combined with chains, a store staff member said. The Ise Shima Pearl Gallery is also considering offering more varieties with different designs and larger pearl sizes at more expensive prices.
The Akoya pearl accessory, along with a beauty facial mask for cleansing the skin and an ordinary surgical mask, are available at the store for 5,500 yen ($51.30), including tax, or 5,900 yen to have it delivered.
The accessory featuring freshwater pearls costs 2,500 yen after tax, or 2,900 yen to have it delivered.
The Asahi Shimbun aims “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” through its Gender Equality Declaration.
Let’s explore the Japanese capital from the viewpoint of wheelchair users and people with disabilities with Barry Joshua Grisdale.
This special page portrays the dramatic arrest of Carlos Ghosn and the twists and turns that followed.
This special page reviews what the former Nissan Motor Co. chairman left during his 19 years in Japan.
Baseball star Ichiro Suzuki had much to say on March 21, 2019, the day he hung up his spikes.
This special page details how journalists uncovered shady transactions through Bermuda and other tax havens.