Top-selling anti-virus face mask in Japan

29 Apr
morse-guard I hear that people are not get used to wearing face masks in spite of the fear against pandemic swine flue these days. How things in Japan?

At a moment there’s not a single nation reported infected with the flu over here, but as we are having a long national holiday season (called Golden Week, from 29 Apri. to 10 May, as for 2009. This includes Saturday & Sunday, and if we take a couple of days off in between this period, we can have as long as about 2-week holiday) we are most likely to travel abroad and there’s high possibilities Japanese tourists bring the virus back home. I’m very much scared of that. 😦

Anyhow, we are in the culture that we wear medical masks or face masks with no hesitation at any time. So it’s quite common for Japanese people to buy wear face masks whether bird flu or swine flue are threatening us or not. We wear face masks every winter to avoid flu virus as well as not to give the cold to other people. Every spring comes people also wear them to avoid pollen because many people have pollen allergy. Hence it’s not too much to say that I see no drug store or even no convenience store like 7-eleven that does not have face masks at any time. In other words, face masks are always at hand in Japan.

So basically most of Japanese people like wearing face masks, (I personally don’t because of being uncomfortable with humid air around my face as well as hard-breathing feelings all the time!) once swine flu is reported, the stock price of pharmaceutical companies that manufacture face masks skyrocketed from the very bottom and people rush to buy face masks to stock for themselves in preparation for the day. As long as I search among the web, MORSE GUARD, unwoven fabric mask with 4 filters is most protective and effective against avian flu or swine flu, which of course is great against ordinary flu, pollen, and dust. The mask is invented by Dr. Ronald A. Morse, who used to work for the U.S Department of Defense. N95 masks are better? In fact our government recommend unwoven fabric masks rather than N95, because N95 is way too protective to breathe. It’s also said that N95 needs skills of wearing. That means if we wear it incorrect way, the performance goes down.

Well, how the things in your country? Are you, your family or friends doing good? I just hope vaccine gets ready asap and help people to soothe the panic.

Meanwhile, the face mask “MORSE GUARD” is available from here. (This is a biggest online mall in Japan, and you can buy the products from Japan by following their guidelines and instructions. Please also check this page first for how to shop and more.)


17 Responses to “Top-selling anti-virus face mask in Japan”

  1. J April 29, 2009 at 7:29 am #

    I agree face masks are always at hand in Japan – I have long wondered why it they were just popular in Japan

  2. Walter May 1, 2009 at 7:05 am #

    😐 Hello, Kirin.
    Enjoy your long holiday . The weather forecast looks fine until Tuesday ( according to πŸ˜›
    So far me and my family are OK , thank you for asking.
    We had 6 suspected cases in Belgium but they’re fine.
    So far a few people in France have the Mexican flue , and one 3 year old girl in the Netherlands , north of us.
    It’s apparently all people coming back from Mexico.
    We’re being assured that there’s 32 million masks in Belgium ( about 3 per person) and 0,5 million anti viral treatments ( about 1 per 20 persons).
    We’re being told not to worry.
    That’s what hospital staff told the parents of a 3 year old girl , that had an operation under full anesthesia on her teeth. She was having increasing breathing problems after the operation and in spite of the parents pleading with the hospital staff to check it, they didn’t bother. The child died after 6 hours with the parents standing by.
    The hospital’s reaction : “We have followed proper procedures”.
    It’s not the flue that will kill you, it’s the procedures. πŸ‘Ώ

  3. Prometheus May 1, 2009 at 7:46 am #

    There is some speculation that there is a potential case of swine flu in Japan. Apparantly she has been taken to hospital for more checking…

  4. kirin May 1, 2009 at 3:38 pm #


    I was raised in Japan and so wearing-a-face-mask habit was always as a matter of course thing without even wondering. But I just don’t like the feelings. 😦


    Thanks. In fact we have no special plan for this holiday. Travelling in this season costs highest just like summer holiday & Christmas ~ new year holiday seasons.
    I’m so sorry for the story. πŸ˜₯
    In Japan we are trying to buy 60 x masks per person (for 2-month usage) because that’s recommended on every TV channels. I think we are little too crazy and too serious for the matter.


    I think it’s a matter of time. Many people plan to travel overseas in Golden Week period, which means they could get infected in any moment. πŸ˜•

  5. Veronica May 1, 2009 at 10:05 pm #

    What a fantastic blog!

    We need those facemasks here in the US with the swine flu scare going around ….

  6. How I Lost Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days May 3, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    Hi, nice post. I have been thinking about this topic,so thanks for writing. I will certainly be subscribing to your posts.

  7. Alec September 25, 2009 at 6:31 am #

    The thing about face masks, though, is that they don't help with diseases. If anything, they harm, because most viruses love humid areas, and the face mask will make your mouth and nose very humid, meaning they will most likely go to the person wearing the face mask.

    • kirin October 12, 2009 at 7:34 am #

      I think viruses usually like dry areas.

  8. Tiana October 11, 2009 at 2:25 am #

    Face masks DO protect against diseases! If they did not, hospital staff would not use them. I cannot believe how many people know nothing about disease transmission, but still want to share their (wrong) opinion. I work in a hospital, and we just had another course on flu prevention for health care workers. Flu is NOT an airborne disease, it IS a DROPLET transmitted disease. When people cough, sneeze or talk, little droplets with a flu virus "fly" through the air. Unlike airborne diseases, droplets CANNOT travel a long distance on air currents. In fact, infected droplets can only travel up to three feet in the air before falling on surrounding surfaces. In addition, you can pick up flu viruses from infected surfaces, ONLY if you touch your mouth, nose or eyes without washing your hands. I wear a surgical mask at work and in public areas so nobody can sneeze on me, I maintain a distance of 4 feet from other people whenever possible, and I never touch my face. I carry wipes that kill influenza virus, and I use them any time I touch something in public. I wipe shopping cart handles in stores, and when I am done shopping I clean my hands with wipes.

  9. Tiana October 11, 2009 at 2:31 am #

    In addition, I take maitake and reishi mushroom extract and propolis during flu season to boost my immunity, eat well, exersise and get enough sleep. I don't drink or smoke either, and I never get sick. I am 32 years old and I never had a flu. My mother is 52, and my father is 60, and they cannot remember ever having flu. We also never had chicken pox or other children's disease. Most diseases are easy to prevent, but instead of adopting great Japanese habits, Europeans and Americans laugh at them. I started wearing face mask in public after I saw Japanese doing it. I also started drinking organic green tea and taking mushroom extracts. Japanese have longer lifespan than most other countries, better eating habits etc. We should LEARN from Japanese, not laught at them. I admire their culture.

    • kirin October 12, 2009 at 7:43 am #

      Thank you for sharing your opinion and wow, you and your family never had flu and even chicken pox?! That's so amazing!! Your protection sounds so perfect and I like your idea to try to adopt good habits from other culture. I will have less flu if I get used to wearing face masks more frequently? At least in Japan, it's quite popular habit to wear face masks in public.

  10. Cathy Shey April 20, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    We should be thankful that the swine flu did not spread very rapidly. it is not very deadly like Ebola but swine flu can still kill you.

  11. Ellie Hughes May 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    Chicken pox is one hell of a nasty disease, it ruined my flawless skin a couple of years ago.-*,

  12. ohtamama November 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    well face masks are good, i like the idea (since i was brought up to do that too)
    but then your nose will be left moist and warm, and bacteria love warm, moist areas (like MRSA) and would multiply in such conditions, so as far as 24/7 protection, im not sure.
    but it is handy for those few minutes when you're in a crowded train with 100s of people.

    *medical student

    • kirin November 24, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

      Thank you for your opinion. I wonder if any of us know that bacteria love moisture…Most of Japanese people tend to wear face masks during winter for protection from catching cold or influenza. You are a medical student, and if you say so, it must be very convincing. I have to tell that to people around me who believe that face masks will do.

  13. Max Largo September 18, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    I myself am American and follow the Japanese custom of mask wearing. I wore one on the train and felt much safer! People on there and everywhere here in the US cough and hack like the morons they are all the time, without consideration of others.
    I also wear them whenever I am sick or don't want to sneeze on anything. I find wearing surgical masks to be a very smart thing to do. Far as what other people in public think of me……I really don't give a @$#%!! I'm crazy!!!!! I always liked wearing those masks anyway and when I found out the Japanese are like me when it comes to those, I no longer felt totally alienated in this world. I wish Americans would be more like the Japanese with face masks, but they never will. But I have no problem stading out from everyone. It makes me feel superior. So……….HA!!!! In my house, I make sure they are always on hand! Thank you Japan……for the support! Don't let any foreigners criticize you!

    • kirin September 20, 2012 at 11:31 am #

      Japanese companies are making great efforts to produce functional masks. ^ ^

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