Cosplay culture and street fashion in Tokyo


Cosplay from the English “costume play” is very popular in these years in Tokyo.

The mission of the cosplay is his interpretation :  an attempt, a character like an actor in a role. Cosplayers can buy or most often, they create costumes by their own work.

Cosplayers often train in the production of specialties such as sculpture, face painting, glass, fashion design and such things in an attempt to make a costume with precision.


On any weekend around Harajuku you can find young girls and some guys getting dressed up in all manner of costumes.

In Japan, Cosplay is not limited to anime and manga, but also a staple of many other entertainment industries such as science fiction and horror.


Cosplaying can be divided into two categories: basic cosplay and Masquerade.

While basic cosplay only involves an attempt to look like a particular character, either in the halls of a convention or on stage, Masquerade is much more involved.

When masquerading, Cosplayers attempt to act as the character would. They often have prepared skits with memorized lines, and the more advanced masqueraders can easily look like their character’s personality.


Cosplay has become very popular amongst fans in Japan, but also in North America. Some CosPlayers make their own costumes, investing large amounts of time and money in the process, while others buy their costumes from professional costume designers.

The end products are generally shown off at Anime conventions. Many Anime conventions hold contests for Cosplay and for Masquerade.


Some successful cosplayers have become very popular and are considered celebrities in their own right.

In Tokyo teenagers gather with like-minded friends in places like Harajuku district to engage in cosplay.

Since 1998 Tokyo’s Akihabara district has contained a large number of cosplay cafés, catering to devoted anime and cosplay fans.


The waitresses at such cafés dress as game or anime characters are particularly popular.

In areas outside of Japan, cosplay is primarily done at manga and anime conventions.

The single largest event featuring cosplay is the semiannual doujinshi market, Comiket.


This event, held in Japan during summer and winter, attracts hundreds of thousands of manga fans. Thousands of cosplayers congregate on the roof of the exhibition center.

The first Comiket was held on December 21, 1975, with only about 32 participating circles and an estimated 600 attendees. Attendance has since swelled to over a half million people.


As items sold in Comiket are considered very rare, they can be found in shops or on the Internet at prices up to 10 times the item’s original price.

Interesting websites resources :

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