Here's Why Sailor Mars Was Wearing a Mask in a Pre-COVID World

It's common in other anime shows, too!

( Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started, health experts have always emphasized the use of a face mask especially when you're sick. This prevents droplets from a COVID-19 patient's mouth and nose from spreading and lowers the chances of infecting other people with the coronavirus. In Japan, face masks have long been worn as part of everyday attire, especially during flu season. Even Sailor Mars was wearing one in an old episode of Sailor Moon way back in the early '90s.

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In a Twitter post that started blowing up on July 15, @SeventhEvan posted a shot of Sailor Mars (or Rei Hino), who showed up in a fight alongside Sailor Moon while wearing a mask because she had the flu. 

Other people were quick to point out the common use of face masks in other anime shows:

The practice of mask-wearing in Japan started in the early years of the 20th century with the influenza pandemic. Subsequently, in 1923, the sky was filled with smoke and ash for weeks after the Great Kanto Earthquake. With the quality of air compromised, people in Tokyo and Yokohama turned to the protection of face masks.

In the 1930s, the country was again hit with a flu epidemic. Since the Japanese have always been aware of social courtesy, those with a cough and cold would wear a mask to avoid transmitting germs. By the 1950s, Japan—as well as China and Koreafaced the problem of air pollution following rapid industrialization post-World War II. This pushed more Asians to wear face masks regularly, not just to protect themselves from infected and polluted air, but also to protect others from mouth-borne germs and viruses.


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