Cosplay in Japanese Culture

Cosplay is not limited to dressing up in costumes from popular TV shows. Cosplay is also seen in traditional Japanese culture and fashion.

Coming of age ceremonies have been held in Japan since at least AD 714, when a young prince got new clothes and a hairstyle to mark their passage into adulthood. The official holiday was first established in 1948, to be held each year on 15 January. In 2000, as a result of the successful system, the Monday on which the Day Of Coming of Age was celebrated on was changed to the second Monday in January.

Many women celebrate this day with the use of Furisode (a kimono with long sleeves that hang) and zori sandals. Since most are unable to put on a kimono by themselves due to the complexities involved in dressing in one, many choose to visit a beauty salon to dress and have their hair done. A complete set of formal clothing is quite expensive, so it is usually taken from a relative or rented rather than bought for the occasion. Men sometimes wear traditional costumes (for example a dark kimono with hakama), but in modern times many men wear formal western clothes, like a suit and a tie, more often than a traditional dress.

The latest street fashion among Japanese women is the smokey eye look. It is a sultry and sexy look that is easy to achieve and which creates stunning results. The smokey eye look has been called the little black dress of make up as it is always stylish. Smokey eyes are perfect anywhere and anytime because the make up needed is not overdone and adds a little bit of mystery and allure to a woman’s look. The smokey eye make up is also useful for vampire Cosplay.

Fantasy and science fiction characters have became very popular Cosplay costumes. Characters from the Star Wars, Star Trek and the Harry Potter series are some of the most popular non-manga characters to be featured in Cosplay events. Anime cartoons such as Naruto, Bleach and Final Fantasy as well as video and computer games are also popular characters to be made into Cosplay costumes. Akatsuki And Organization XIII costumes as well as the ever popular ShinRa were the most common costumes at conventions. Outside of conventions, the most popular Cosplay costumes are school girl outfits and maid uniforms.

Comic books, graphic novels and fantasy movies are also a source of inspiration for Cosplayers.