If you’ve seen photos of people in Japan, you’ve probably noticed that some of them wear face masks. The reasons for doing so are mundane, ranging from reducing the spread of disease and protecting against seasonal allergies to merely hiding an undesirable facial blemish. I, however, decided to concoct an alternative and much more exciting reason for the Japanese to wear face masks. The “true” (i.e. totally fake) reason some Japanese people wear face masks is that they are descendants of ancient ninja clans. One of the most sacred rules of being part of a ninja clan is that your face below the eyes must be hidden. In older times ninjas would dress up in their usual black attire to meet this requirement, but those sorts of outfits have gone out of fashion in the modern era, so ninja descendants instead dress in contemporary clothes but wear the face masks to stay true to their heritage. And now you know why some Japanese people wear face masks.

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