What is “otafuku” in Japan? atOtafuku is the face of a woman with a round face, forehead protruding forward, cheeks puffed out, and a low nose. It is used as a derogatory term for a woman with an ugly face.
In the past, a face like Otafuku’s was considered a desirable face that brought good fortune, but due to changes in the sense of beauty, it has come to be used as a term of abuse for ugly women.
Named after their resemblance to the Otafuku masks is “Mumps”
You often see Otafuku Masks which is often used for decoration to bring luck.
In the second episode of Netflix drama, Makanai, the grand landlady Chiyo said, “Kiyo looks like Otafuku.” She meant that Kiyo looks like the smiling Otafuku that is placed above the front door of the house to ward off bad luck. The proprietress, Azusa, who was listening to this, seemed to have an epiphany. Since Otafuku is smiling, in this case it is a compliment to Kiyo’s smile.
Otafuku mask is a popular item in Japan. The origin of this comical mask is said to be Amenouzume, a woman of Japanese mythology and the oldest dancer in Japan. Amenouzume was the founder of the Sarume-kun, a female courtesan who performed Shinto rituals and other activities in the 7th century.
This is what typical Otafuku mask looks like.