Chasing the devils / by Jim Hathaway

February 3rd, the point half way between the solstice and the equinox.  In
America they wait a ground hog to show itself, in Europe it used to be
bears.  In Japan people throw soy beans at other people wearing
devil masks, to chase out the bad luck, pull in the good.
Every year I am left at the last minute with a little thin paper mask, free
at the grocery if you buy the beans.This year Iwanted to be
ready, start early. This weekend I began working on a mask.I decided
to make a really horrible scary devil.I have made masks before.I
blew up a balloon head sized and began my paper mâché.I followed
my own design, changing as I went along.I had a scary mask inside
me.I could certainly make a devil.
Today I started to put on the paint.And it was pretty obvious that I was
making a clown rather than a devil.
I went to the Internet, searching, "oni mask". Boy they were
good.They scared the bejesus out of me.The best were based on
noh masks of a woman scorned.Scary as hell. Probably I
should have started with an Internet search, but I wanted to make my
own devil. It turns out I am more of a clown.