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Buddha-themed beauty masks become popular Nara Prefecture souvenir

The Buddha beauty mask from the "Buddha face pack" attracting attention among visitors to Nara Prefecture is seen in this image provided by Max. Co.

NARA -- A beauty mask that gives users a calm, Buddha-like visage has become a popular souvenir among visitors to the western Japan city of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture.

    The masks are part of cosmetics firm Max Co.'s Yamato Cosmetic series. The company, headquartered in the Osaka Prefecture city of Yao, also in western Japan, has a production base in Kashihara, and through a business venture between industry, academia and government, uses agricultural produce from Nara Prefecture in its cosmetics.

    Developed in cooperation with Kindai University in Osaka Prefecture, and the Nara Prefectural Government, the product went on sale in February 2019. It contains extracts of moisturizing ingredients from persimmon leaves, Japanese sake and other items.

    Talk of making a "cosmetic product that people can feel is from Nara Prefecture after just one look" at an internal meeting about the series led to the "Buddha face pack" proposal, and it was decided it should become a market product. Once on sale, it started to become popular primarily among sightseers, and also attracted attention on social media as a "beauty mask good for photos."

    A senior employee at the company said, "We have received praise for the product's impact and design sense from customers at home and abroad. We ask that people consider buying it when they come to Nara."

    The Buddha beauty masks are available to buy at the Umaimono Plaza local produce shop in the JR Nara Station building, as well as the Max online store, among other outlets. One mask costs 550 yen including tax. Inquiries can be made via a specialized form on the Max website.

    (Japanese original by Yusuke Kato, Nara Bureau)

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