Meet the Japanese Designer Behind Kaneki Ken’s Iconic Ghoul Mask

  • OTAKU
  • CULTURE
  • A 30-second trailer for Tokyo Ghoul’s (東京喰種トーキョーグール) live-action adaptation has been released. The movie is directed by Kentaro Hagiwara (萩原健太郎). The trailer introduces its main characters including Masataka Kubota (窪田正孝) as the human-turned-half-ghoul protagonist Kaneki Ken (金木研), Fumika Shimizu (清水富美加) as Toka Kirishima (霧嶋董香), Yu Aoi (蒼井優) as Rize Kamishiro (神代利世), Nobuyuki Suzuki (鈴木伸之) as Investigator Kotaro Amon (亜門鋼太朗), and Yo Oizumi (大泉洋) as Investigator Kureo Mado (真戸呉緒). The trailer gives us a sneak peek of Kaneki’s kagune as well as of the investigators’ quinque (the weapons humans have made using a ghoul’s kakuhou), but the thing that got the most attention is, of course, Kaneki Ken’s one-eyed ghoul mask.

    A post shared by CHRISTIAN DADA (@christiandada) on

    Masanori Morikawa (森川マサノリ), the founder of CHRISTIAN DADA, designed this mask. His works have been getting a lot of fashion acclaim and celebrities who have worn his designs include Lady Gaga and BIGBANG’s G-Dragon. Let’s get to know more about this amazing designer and his brand!

    Masanori Morikawa

    Masanori Morikawa was born in 1984 in Kanagawa (神奈川), Japan. He reveals that his grandfather, a skilled embroiderer who used to work on gangs’ bosozoku (暴走族) outfits, greatly influenced his passion. Bosozoku is one of the popular subcultures in Japan featuring young delinquents who often go around in motorcycles wearing their trademark huge overcoats with kanji slogans at the back. This rebellious attitude of the punk culture inspires Morikawa’s daring designs. Thus, his signature touch is integrated into the embroidery of his unique pieces.

    CHRISTIAN DADA

    People will probably have a misconception that CHRISTIAN DADA is a foreign designer’s name. This, in fact, is the label that Masanori Morikawa launched in 2010. CHRISTIAN DADA pays homage to famous French designer, Christian Dior.

    “Dada” comes from Dadaism, an artistic and literary movement from Zürich, Switzerland. This movement embraces imperfections and defiant attitude in contrary to societal norms. The brand’s deconstructed designs reflect the anti-conformist principle which gives its wearers a unique identity that stands out.

    CHRISTIAN DADA’s flagship store is located at 268 Orchard Road in Singapore. The 1,700-square feet futuristic store was designed by Fumiko Takahama (髙濵史子) Architects. Meanwhile, CHRISTIAN DADA’s store in Tokyo is located in the neighborhood of Aoyama (青山) in the city’s Minato Ward (港区).

    CHRISTIAN DADA Website
    Access

    Lady Gaga x CHRISTIAN DADA

    A post shared by CHRISTIAN DADA (@christiandada) on

    Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” was released in early 2011 and the single reached the no. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. It was followed by more chart-topping hits and established Lady Gaga as a hitmaker and a superstar with an eccentric fashion taste.

    At the peak of Lady Gaga’s career, CHRISTIAN DADA designed custom pieces for her appearance in the 2011 MTV Video Music Aid Japan, and this propelled the designer’s name to international fame. He continued to produce designs for Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way Ball” World Tour in 2012. Morikawa then showcased his work for the first time at Tokyo Collection’s Autumn/Winter 2012 Runway Show, followed by appearances in Paris Fashion Week from 2014 to 2016.

    Tokyo Ghoul

    Masanori Morikawa is a self-professed fan of Sui Ishida’s (石田スイ) manga and was delighted to work on Kaneki Ken’s famous ghoul mask. The specially designed mask was on display at Jump Festa 2016 which was held at Makuhari Messe (幕張メッセ), one of Japan’s largest convention centers, located in Chiba Prefecture (千葉県).

    Tokyo Ghoul Website *Japanese only

    I have appreciated CHRISTIAN DADA’s designs long before he made Kaneki Ken’s iconic mask. I may not wear something as bold as Lady Gaga’s outfits, but from ripped jeans and denim jackets to asymmetrical shirts and mismatched shoes, I think that I also tend to challenge the convention when it comes to expressing myself through my clothes. I once got disapproving stares when I attended a wedding in a pink gown paired with neon green stilettos, but I received compliments when the pictures from the said event were finally uploaded online. Sometimes it feels good to dare to be different without being over the top.

    What do you think of CHRISTIAN DADA’s norm-bending designs, including the ghoul mask he designed? Has it made you even more excited for the release of the Tokyo Ghoul live-action film?