How do you cosplay in Japan?

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#16 kiratsukai on 10 years ago

アララ~? (a poem)

Osaka? Could it be?
Another layer who lives near me?
Where are you at, Itsuki?

You should pop into the Japan forum and post on the location thread :)

#17 cactusmomma on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=kiratsukai;3333020]
-Crossplayers wear HUGE shoes to make themselves taller.
-Most people shave off their eyebrows... [/QUOTE]

Now see, these bug the everliving hell out of me (and it's not just the crossplayers with their shoes. I've seen some pretty wicked height on almost everyone over on cure.). They look ridiculous 9/10 times... especially when it involves 5 inch heels on a character already 5'3"/160 cm and under.

What I would like to know, is what are the views over there on photoshopping? Is this generally accepted to look like your pores ran off screaming? Do they prefer the more airbrushed look or rely moreso on makeup? Is it ok to shave a few inches off one's waist or is it frowned upon like it is here?

#18 kiratsukai on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=cactusmomma;3333163]What I would like to know, is what are the views over there on photoshopping? Is this generally accepted to look like your pores ran off screaming? Do they prefer the more airbrushed look or rely moreso on makeup? Is it ok to shave a few inches off one's waist or is it frowned upon like it is here?[/QUOTE]

Check out [url]http://cosp.jp[/url] -- it's pretty representative of the mean.

It depends on the person and their level, but it seems like anyone remotely serious about cosplay gets pretty serious about photography too. According to a survey I once translated, a little under half of cosplayers own big SLR cameras themselves. While there are photographers active in the community, they're not always the most... pleasant people to be around. We don't usually get to know them and some of the cosplayers are even afraid of them ^^;;; Most cosplayers use their other cosplaying friends as their primary photographers and are active with the same groups for a long time.

Photoshop seems to be considered more a sign of polish/professionalism than an issue of deception or vanity. High-level cosplayers and photographers seem to go through the trouble of learning photo programs in order to touch up photos... but they'll touch up images of friends and strangers too, not just themselves. There's quite a lot of color/skin tone adjustment, but I don't see a lot of major cosmetic edits like waist trimming or nose replacement. I think they think it just looks better when everyone looks like a Square Enix character :)

#19 Amanita on 10 years ago

After reading this, I'm glad it's not *illegal* per se, to cosplay over in Japan.
I would love to visit Japan one of these days (Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge FTW!!). If public cosplay is not cool, I won't do it. But in addition to being a cosplayer, I also design and make a lot of my own clothing, which doesn't look like typical "off-the-rack" stuff. I would hate to think that wearing my own one-of-a-kind jacket or long leather vest would get me in trouble with the law or treated badly! But then again, when I am not cosplaying, I don't wear wigs or coloured contacts, or carry unusual props around. Nor do I wear masks or exotic makeup.

So hopefully I won't get mistaken for a cosplayer!

#20 Moonsong on 10 years ago

As a cosplayer from the USA, it's quite fascinating to learn about the cosplay etiquette in the country that really started it all. I honestly like the idea that public cosplay is frowned upon to protect both the fans and the "normal people" - all too often, conventions get a lot of negativity here in the USA because people who are very obviously connected to the anime fandom through their public cosplay do something stupid, and then the rest of the fans who haven't done anything have to suffer too...Plus you can get into the situation where the hotel/convention center will no longer host that particular convention if the anime/cosplay community affects their business negatively.

Very interesting thread, so thanks to everyone who has provided their insight.

#21 allyunion on 10 years ago

I agree. I appreciate all the input. Though from the sound of it, maybe I shouldn't cosplay in Japan.

#22 Amanita on 10 years ago

I think it's a shame though, that cosplay in public is frowned on, because of a few people who do dumb things, or the possibility that somebody might do something dumb. It's why I am working on my cosplay etiquette essay- I hope that by putting it out there, maybe I can do my part to help encourage good bahavior in the cosplay community, so that we don't need to become like Japan- where it's not "allowed" or "done".

I rather like cosplaying outside of cons, but I do my part by not acting like a dumbass or making trouble. Cosplayers who DO cause trouble need to be warned- bad conduct can and WILL ruin things for everyone, good and bad alike.

#23 lexy-chan on 10 years ago

I have a friend who lives in Japan who agrees with all the the above--it is, indeed, frowned upon to cosplay in public, and while you can do it, great care and consideration is needed of where you're at, who you're around, etc. The US seems to...just not care, or is just quick to judge you as a freak >_> I can understand the whole 'cosplay in public' situation however, because to the untrained/unaccustomed eye, it just look, quite frankly, a bit weird.

If I ever cosplay outside a convention (which I find my friends are encouraging more and more), my clothes will be conservative to the occasion (I'll wear the wig and make-up to look like the character, nothing more), or in case of a photoshoot wear I was Illumise (gijinka), I had my friend call the location before (the shoot location was a botanical garden) to make sure the owner was completely okay with it before shooting.

It's just a common courtesy that a lot of people forget these days, I think, regardless of what country you're in *shurgs* =w=

#24 Kazephyr on 10 years ago

*Reads thread* Wow, now I know I am never attending a con in Japan. o_0;; Way too many rules and, in my humble opinion, stiffness. I like a relaxed atmosphere... Public stigmas towards people who dress differently just isn't my kind of thing. :/

My top reasons for never visiting Japan out of the way, I'll offer my two cents. Every time I've heard from an American cosplayer who attended a con in Japan, they've said it was very different... even boring. Apparently, you stand somewhere, in a specific area of the con (I believe cosplay is against the rules in the dealer's area?) and people line up for "drive-through" photos. I guess cosplay is a more formal thing, there? Or people tend to be more reserved?

No offense to Japanese culture or cosplayers at all intended, of course. :) I think Japan's an amazing place... but it's just not /my/ kind of amazing place. ^^;;

#25 kiratsukai on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=Kazephyr;3333815]My top reasons for never visiting Japan out of the way, I'll offer my two cents. Every time I've heard from an American cosplayer who attended a con in Japan, they've said it was very different... even boring. Apparently, you stand somewhere, in a specific area of the con (I believe cosplay is against the rules in the dealer's area?) and people line up for "drive-through" photos. I guess cosplay is a more formal thing, there? Or people tend to be more reserved?[/QUOTE]

To be fair ~ most foreigners come to Japan with the attitude that everything will be and should be the same. They also assume that any important rules and information will be given to them in their own language and that everyone will stop everything to approach them and bust out with English to praise their adventurism and badass-foreignness the same way Japanese culture-fans might cluster around someone cool from Japan.

That does happen... but it's a rare experience. Foreigners have developed a sketchy reputation as noisy rule-ignorers, so your non-Japanese face in the crowd is more likely to inspire worry at first than worship. You sort of need to prove yourself by being polite and outgoing in your best Japanese... at which point, people begin to open up and include you more in the goings-on.

If you can't manage much Japanese or pick up on the information you need to attend the sort of events you'd enjoy ~ it can be really boring.

I doubt a Japanese person would find much of interest at a foreign event either ~ largely because they can't understand what's going down linguistically or culturally.

But just because 95% of cosplay-tourists on both sides don't know what's going on doesn't mean nothing is. Cosplay events in Japan are very structured: yes... but it takes all of 15 minutes and an open mind to learn the bulk of the rules. If you give them a chance, quite a lot of them make cosplay more enjoyable for everyone and result in a much better image for the community.

There are all sorts of events involving cosplay. If standing around and taking pictures isn't your thing ~ avoid events that aren't primarily designed for cosplayers and photo shoots. Most of what foreigners think are "anime conventions" are actually very specific indie comic markets and trade shows where cosplay is allowed, but isn't a major focus. If you want to shop in the main hall, 9 times out of 10 you're allowed to do it in costume ~ people just aren't allowed to take pictures of you (again, a rule designed to keep people from harassing cosplayers, not to limit them). We've still got dance parties, club events, meet-ups, bar nights, kareoke nights, cafe events, public events, and amusement park events too.

I kind of feel the same way you do about cosplaying in the US.
I'm not sure I'd be comfortable anymore without the rules O-o;;

It takes a lot more effort to enjoy something you aren't used to in a language you're not all that familiar with than it does to stay in your comfort zone at an event where you have friends and memories.

#26 Kazephyr on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=kiratsukai;3333849]I kind of feel the same way you do about cosplaying in the US.
I'm not sure I'd be comfortable anymore without the rules O-o;;

It takes a lot more effort to enjoy something you aren't used to in a language you're not all that familiar with than it does to stay in your comfort zone at an event where you have friends and memories.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I definitely know what you're saying. :) It's kind of like how people who grow up in a certain decade tend to say that that decade's movies/cartoons/whatever are "so much better than what kids today are fed". XD We adjust to our environments, and anything else can feel very strange or unpleasant, at least until you're used to it. Even then, most people are still most comfortable in the setting they know best, because it's sort of a trained nature. ^^;;

I was brought up in a culture of people saying to "be yourself!" "don't be afraid to be different!" "don't follow the crowd just because they're 'in'". Not saying that the Japanese are a conformist culture or think those things are wrong, just that they have different philosophies and such. :) Bottom line: I'll probably always feel most comfortable in my native element, because that's just how people tend to be. ^^;;

#27 allyunion on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=F. Silverberg;3333986]It's not really because of that, there's a deeper reason why cosplay is frowned upon. It's hard to explain if you aren't used to an asian upbringing, as it goes directly against some of the core fundamentals you're raised on in the west.

Japan is a conformist and patriarchal culture. A little less so now than in the past, but by no means the individualistic (which to a degree, doesn't really even exist over here in the business world) empowered society that the west promotes. America isn't innocent of this either, if you happen to work in the business, finance, or governmental sectors, you can see this there too, just not as extreme.[/QUOTE]

I've been brought up by an Asian upbringing with some western influences. The primary reason I want to cosplay in Japan is that Japan has very lovely scenery. It'd be nice to take advantage of that and respect their cultural rules on cosplay... hence why I asked about an introduction to cosplaying in Japan. Though, I admit, not cosplaying in Japan won't deter me from my trip experience to Japan that I plan to take. Food, sights and culture are still adequate enough for me.

#28 Tigress on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=kiratsukai;3333849]If you want to shop in the main hall, 9 times out of 10 you're allowed to do it in costume ~ people just aren't allowed to take pictures of you (again, a rule designed to keep people from harassing cosplayers, not to limit them). [/QUOTE]

I'd imagine this is also a safety consideration as well. The streets in Tokyo and other major cities in Japan are CROWDED! I can imagine how stopping someone for a picture would gum up the natural flow of the walkways pretty quickly and cause a huge safety hazard.

#29 Miyabi- on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=Moonsong;3333650]As a cosplayer from the USA, it's quite fascinating to learn about the cosplay etiquette in the country that really started it all.[/QUOTE]

..but Japan didn't start cosplay. It started in the West at science fiction cons. Just the actual word "cosplay" is of Japanese origins really...:sunny:

It *is* really interesting to read about cosplay etiquette in Japan though! I've always wanted to lurk the Japan forums and read their cosplaying stories but sadly I don't speak Japanese and the translating sites are always off..lol

Thanks for enlightening all of us kiratsukai! Your posts are really interesting! :bigtu:

#30 Soku on 10 years ago

[QUOTE=Miyabi-;3334769]..but Japan didn't start cosplay. It started in the West at science fiction cons. Just the actual word "cosplay" is of Japanese origins really...:sunny:[/QUOTE]

Didn't costuming really start in Europe, for masquerades? Or even kabuki theatres? I highly doubt a young country started such a old tradition =P

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