This plastic mask represents the tengu, a goblin-like figure from Japanese folklore. It has a red face and white moustache and eyebrows, as well as the tengu's characteristically long nose and black cap held on by a gold cord. There is a thin elastic band attached to the back for wearing. This mask is believed to have been purchased in the late 1970s, and would have been worn by children as toys or entertainment. These plastic versions stem from traditional festival or Nō theater masks, and would have been sold on the streets at festivals.
Tengu are supernatural creatures from Japanese folklore, often appearing in works of art, theater, and literature. They are one of the best known yokai (monster/ghosts) and are sometimes worshipped as Shinto kami (sacred spirits or gods). Their name derives from a dog-like Chinese demon (tiangou), but in Japan the tengu were originally thought to take the form of birds of prey. As a result, they are traditionally depicted with both human- and bird-like characteristics. Though tengu were historically pictured with beaks, another version of the tengu gradually emerged, known as the yamabushi tengu. Yamabushi are mountain hermits, believed to have supernatural powers. The tengu named after these figures have unnaturally long noses, rather than beaks, and distinctive small black caps.