How do you cosplay in Japan?

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#1 allyunion on 10 years ago

I know the cosplay culture in Japan is different from America... but is there any sites with tutorials or advice on cosplaying in Japan?

#2 Yunalicia on 10 years ago

The main difference is cosplay is like modeling in Japan. Most people have their costumes commissioned so they look perfect and only go to cons to have their pictures taken. Not always the case but it's generally like that.

#3 J Ryoga on 10 years ago

Wow. Maybe it's not that different after all. :thumbsup:

#4 akaiyuki15 on 10 years ago

i heard cosplay is done strictly as a hobby, since it is not wise to cosplay in public like it is done here. they go to photo shoots and cons but that is it.

#5 Dasoro on 10 years ago

#6 Capt_Lucifer on 10 years ago

#7 Creative Genius on 10 years ago

it is very frowned on to cosplay in public in japan.
they really only cosplay at the big meeting are in shinjuku or harajuku..where ever that place is..they bring their costume there change there hang out then change back into normal clothing before they leave.

since lolita is a fashion you see them out on the streets normally..it may be looked at as weird when they do..but its still normal clothing

#8 Dasoro on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=Capt_Lucifer;3332910]oh no you're very mistaken. Public cosplay is frowned upon in Japan. Only in certain areas will people cosplay. For example at conventions no one shows up to the con in cosplay, they ALWAYS change there and then change out when they go home. I mean it'd be silly to say EVERYONE doesnt cosplay in public, but the majority do not since it is socially not accepted.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Creative Genius;3332916]it is very frowned on to cosplay in public in japan.
they really only cosplay at the big meeting are in shinjuku or harajuku..where ever that place is..they bring their costume there change there hang out then change back into normal clothing before they leave.

since lolita is a fashion you see them out on the streets normally..it may be looked at as weird when they do..but its still normal clothing[/QUOTE]

Ah, I see. Thank you all for telling me! ^^;;;

#9 Kiichigo on 10 years ago

Actually there's this company, Cospa, who rent 'cosplay rooms' out in Japan.

It's a room where you can change into your costume, so you don't have to walk across town in it. I think the rooms are located around Harajuku and places like that. The rooms have makeup and water and stuff and are for rent by the hour. When I read about it, the price was 6-7 dollars an hour.

#10 kiratsukai on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=Yunalicia;3332620]The main difference is cosplay is like modeling in Japan. Most people have their costumes commissioned so they look perfect and only go to cons to have their pictures taken. Not always the case but it's generally like that.[/QUOTE]

Wow... you couldn't me more off the mark :P

Cosplay is just like it is anywhere else... but with a lot more set ettiquette, business-support and public shame involved.

-We make costumes, props, attend events, and hang out just like everyone else.
-Yes, some of us buy our costumes... but so do some of you :)
-Most of us are teenagers and college students... some are housewives, mothers, and office-workers. 99.9% of us are female. Most of the guys who do participate tend to crossdress creepily. The few who cosplay male characters quickly become minor celebrities (and coveted cosplay-boyfriends).
-We don't run around in public in costumes (it's considered rude) and as most of our businesses and families are ashamed of geek culture ~ most of us are partially or completely "closeted". We have psuedonyms and attend events discreetly. We carry our costumes to and from events in roller suitcases and change in and out of our street clothes there.
-We exchange namecards, not because we fancy ourselves celebrities, but because we want to remember who we meet and be able to contact them later to get permission to post photos or share photos we've taken of them.
-We ask permission to take and post photos online... not doing so is a huge breech of ettiquette and personal privact.
-We tend to be shyer about "first contact" with strangers and stick to small groups we know to take photos, talking to new people only when we can find a good "excuse" (like lending something, taking a photo, or being dressed as a character from the same series)
-There are professionals and model cosplayers in Japan... just like there are professionals in the United States, Italy, Russia, and anywhere else. They're the exception, not the rule.
-Going to an event at random can land you in one of three or four cosplay magazines that shoot photos at events ~ being in one is an honor, but doesn't make you any better than anyone else. If you attend larger events long enough, are over 18 and work hard enough on costuming: you'll be in a magazine before long.
-Students younger then high school age are forbidden to cosplay by the school system... so age 16 is something of a "debut" age ~ younger girls will sometimes "study" magazines, posing and makeup for months or even years before they're allowed to put on a costume in public.
-The community is huge, and just as different personality-wise as any other cosplay community... only predominantly asian and female.
-Blackface is acceptable... glasses are not (unless it's for a character).
-original characters and variations are rare
-Just about everyone uses wigs and color contacts... even newbies.
-Crossplayers wear HUGE shoes to make themselves taller.
-Most people shave off their eyebrows...
-We've got a lot more stores selling items to support us in cosplay and nearly all ship within a week of ordering. We're horribly spoiled when it comes to quantity and quality of available goods.
-You can also attend location-shoot events at amusement parks or movie sets and can rent all sorts of studios out for photo shoots. Most people gather a small group of local folks and split the cost.

I'm a total noob at this (having done it for about 6 months) and the community here has been welcoming, sweet, and surprisingly green. I've met a lot more anime/manga-loving newbies who want to chat comics than I have professionals. The amount of business-support, the speed of shipping, and the availability of cosplaying magazines and support sites has helped me getting a lot better a lot quicker than I ever could have anywhere else. Any disconnect you see in percieved quality of Japanese cosplayers and those in other countries is probably a symptom of a larger, more developed community ~ not a more elitist or skilled one.

Check out the tutorial thread in my signature or the Japan regional section here for more on what it's really like.

#11 xApocalypse on 10 years ago

From what i understood its not so "weird" to see people cosplaying in places like akihabara or harajuku.

#12 kiratsukai on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=xApocalypse;3333022]From what i understood its not so "weird" to see people cosplaying in places like akihabara or harajuku.[/QUOTE]

Depends on how you define cosplay.

In most cases, what you're seeing isn't a costume, but that person's regular clothing.

#13 Faded_Illusions on 10 years ago

I am living in Japan right now, and I have some further insight into cosplay in Japan. At conventions such as the Tokyo Anime Festival, it is FORBIDDEN to cosplay. It is also FORBIDDEN to cosplay in certain places, NOT just frowned upon. This is because of an unfortunate series of events in Akihabara (the gaming / anime / computer etc center of Japan). There were several tragic incidents in and around Akihabara involving what the public perceived to be "otaku" (who were really just single guys with large dvd collections, they had no connection to anime what so ever and didn't even know what otaku meant). One guy killed several little girls and ate them, one guy massacred 17 people, and you get the idea. Otaku got a bad name, and so their "home" got put on major lockdown. Today, there is a HUGE police presence in the city and cosplay is not allowed. Maids are another story though, and frequently over looked by the force.

Hope this helped...

#14 kiratsukai on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=Faded_Illusions;3333060]At conventions such as the Tokyo Anime Festival, it is FORBIDDEN to cosplay. It is also FORBIDDEN to cosplay in certain places, NOT just frowned upon. This is because of an unfortunate series of events in Akihabara (the gaming / anime / computer etc center of Japan). There were several tragic incidents in and around Akihabara involving what the public perceived to be "otaku" (who were really just single guys with large dvd collections, they had no connection to anime what so ever and didn't even know what otaku meant). One guy killed several little girls and ate them, one guy massacred 17 people, and you get the idea. Otaku got a bad name, and so their "home" got put on major lockdown. Today, there is a HUGE police presence in the city and cosplay is not allowed. Maids are another story though, and frequently over looked by the force.[/QUOTE]

I think you might be misunderstanding the nature and severity of the cosplay taboo. You also seem to be unconsciously misplacing/combining several violent incidents in the far past with a recent mass-murder incident in Akihabara victimizing otaku. (Someone with no obvious connection to the community plowed a van into a busy Sunday crowd, then got out started stabbing people as they struggled to escape). The Akihabara incident is actually why the streets are no longer closed on Sundays for performances and cosplay as they once were, but it's actually a move to protect otaku, not to descriminate against them.

The heightened police presence in Akiba seems designed to deter shoplifting and a recent practice of baiting and mugging otaku which had been becoming a problem in the neighborhood... though, when I was last there this December, I didn't notice police presence any thicker than it's ever been.

About the Akihabara incident: [url]http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7442327.stm[/url]
About the Akihabara crime wave: [url]http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ed20070617a1.html[/url]

It's true that one set of memorable 1989 child murders labelled "the otaku murders" did have a strong negative influence on the public perception of anime/manga fans, but cosplayers are hardly percieved to be criminal or perverse. The "predatory otaku" stereotype is applied almost exclusively to adult men while most cosplayers are young women.

Generally speaking, cosplay is discouraged in public because it bothers others, creates liability for the event (if people misbehaving are in costume and are traced to the event, the event can be discountinued or run into trouble with the public) and creates a crowd-control nuisciance. Events without cosplay often simply don't have the facilities or staff available to provide dressing rooms, security, and a photo-taking area.

Nowhere in Japan is cosplay illegal. You are legally free to wear whatever you like, wherever you like (as long as it covers your naughty bits). The police can't hassle you for it... and most likely, no one else will either. You'll just be viewed as somewhat of an idiot.

Quite a few businesses have cosplaying staff and promoters... It isn't strictly "forbidden" to cosplay in Akihabara, or anywhere else. It's just extremely weird... and rude (unless you're promoting an event, business or are in an area specifically designated for cosplay).

So yeah, public cosplay is frowned on. It's not cool. Don't do it.

But the why's are more preventative than they are related to deep-seated cultural hatred of otaku... quite a lot of the cosplay taboo is designed to avoid conflict with "the real world" and make the fantasy safer and more structured for everyone without damaging the reputation of the community as a whole.

#15 itsuki<3pudding on 10 years ago

I haven't attended a cosplay event in Japan yet, but on Saturday I was actually surprised to see a few cosplayers walking into Osaka's major anime district, wigs and all. They weren't making an attempt to hide their costumes. I just kind of assumed that they worked at one of the anime stores here, where it's not uncommon for the employees to dress up.

But yeah, as a general rule I'd say use the changing spaces. I've seen Japanese convention websites say that if you show up to the front entrance in costume they will not let you in.

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