It's surprising to see emamouse without their signature mask. The Tokyo artist never plays live or appears in photos on Twitter without the handmade felt headwear, which features green hair with a single blue fish. Yet here it is, in emamouse's hands inside a Shinjuku Showa Era cafe.

"Early on, it felt dizzying to perform wearing this," emamouse tells The Japan Times. But after making holes in the side for their hair to come out of, the artist says, "now it's a lot less suffocating."

Emamouse, who asks not to share their name due to work-related matters, among other reasons, says they feel 40 percent of themselves is female and doesn't mind "she," but that "they" as a pronoun feels better.