National

Japan seeing brisk sales in Trump masks, translated books

by Mizuho Aoki

Staff Writer

Donald Trump’s triumph in Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election has turned books and masks related to the real estate tycoon into the hottest-selling items in Japan.

Rubber mask maker Ogawa Studios Inc. said Friday it received around 1,600 orders for its Trump mask in just over a day since election ended.

“Orders have kept flooding in since just before his victory was announced,” said Takahiro Yagihara, senior managing director of the Saitama-based firm. “We can’t keep up with the orders. We are making our customers wait.”

In contrast, Ogawa Studios’ mask of his rival, Hillary Clinton, has not been doing so well: It has only sold 12 since the election, he said.

According to the company, the Trump mask, which costs ¥2,400 plus tax, was more popular than the Clinton mask even before the election. Since the masks went on sale in May, 1,867 Trump masks had been sold by Wednesday versus 1,178 for Clinton.

“Masks of politicians with strong personalities tend to sell well regardless of their support rates,” Yagihara said.

The company has been making rubber masks of politicians since 2001, starting with former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

It’s best item so far has been the Barack Obama mask, which sold over 10,000 in the year after his 2009 inauguration, it said.

Apart from masks, books on the billionaire are also proving popular.

A Japanese translation of “Trump Revealed,” published by the Washington Post, unexpectedly became popular after he won the election, according to publisher Bungeishunju Ltd.

The book, titled “Toranpu” in Japanese, had only sold around 1,200 copies, or 10 percent of its first edition, since its publication on Oct. 11. It was disappointing because the publisher expected it to do much better and thought it had good content, Satoru Katsuno of the publisher’s sales department said.

But things changed drastically when Trump’s victory became apparent Wednesday. Based on the flood of orders, the company decided Thursday morning to print an additional 10,000 copies, he said.