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.

Erotica and Roleplay

In Japan, where cosplay is seen as the embodiment of a character and acting out specific roles, it is not uncommon for its practice to be explored in most adult relationships. Considered a sexual fetish, many embrace the ideals of either cross dressing – where the males take on the roles of females and vice versa – or seeing their partners in maid, nurses or high-school girls’ uniforms. The latter two roles seem to be the most popular as the fantasy of having subservient or helpless females at their bidding, gives the male a sense of authority and power during sex. The adult industry, in Japan, do not shy away from exploring such ‘taboo’ situations and cater to specialized hotels or facilities that provide cosplay options for their visitors.

The term hentai, which refers to sexually explicit or pornographic material, is a genre all of its own in the sex industry. Explicit adult video games, or Japanese eroge, typically have themes that reflect the weak female (maids, nurses or school girls) at the mercy of their male torturers. These are quite popular among the male population and earn millions of yen annually.

Another genre that’s all the rage in Japan is the role of the AV (adult video) girl. Unlike the Western culture where porn stars are not treated with much respect, the same could not be said for their counterparts in the East. Some famous actresses (many in dramatic movie or TV roles) today got their starts as AV girls, or some end up becoming AV girls when they can no longer find work in mainstream television. With these girls earning as much as four million yen a year – in a market that makes up almost 30% of all Japan video rentals – the industry is definitely one that’s taking its place as a staple in society today.

The use of toys, in addition to cosplay roles, adds to the excitement of the relationship. If the female takes on the role of a student, the most common used toys are whips or bondage-related props; the ultimate idea of subservience between partners. Another theme is the doctor-nurse relationship, where the use of some actual medical devices like the speculum is used during the act. Some even find pleasure with more traditional themes, choosing to role play feudal lords and mistresses of the court with more elaborate costumes. For creativity breeds more entertainment.

Fantasy Lingerie Costumes – It’s All About the School Girl

It’s that time of year again to start thinking about costume parties. If you’re still thinking about what you should wear this year, then may I suggest trying out a school girl costume? It is after all in the top 10 most popular fantasy lingerie costumes. The school girl costume is a great way to deviate yourself from the sea of sexy witches and devils that will be roaming the streets this Halloween. How about trying something different and wearing a sexier version of the school girl costumes? After all, there are a variety of school girl styles ranging from the nerdy styles, to the cute ones, to scary ones like the zombie school girl If you’re feeling daring this year, then the sexy school girl is perfect for you!

So what is it about the school girl costume that is so appealing to people, especially the guys? Well, some people say that it is popular because the lingerie costume lends a different attitude to the wearer; allowing her to portray a character other than their own persona. Dressing up in something like a school girl costume helps you to embrace personalities far different from your own.

But besides the sexy school girl costume there is also the cute school girl which pretty much brings back memories from the past, especially with memories of wearing pigtails. Another is the nerdy school girl costume, though often over looked, is also among the favorites of the more “comedic” female groups. Nerdy school girl costumes are very amusing and very refreshing from the many “sex kitten” costumes that come out every Halloween. But if you’re more into the macabre, then perhaps the zombie school girl would be your perfect fit. Often designed after the Japanese dead school girl films, it truly is very creepy when first seen. There is also a gothic school girl costume for those of you who love to wear black.

So how does one recreate a school girl look? Just follow the simple steps below and you will be well on your way to creating your perfect school girl costume.

You will need:

  • A couple of ponytail holders
  • Comfortable shoes or boots (I recommend wearing heels with the sexy school girl costume)
  • Pleated, plaid skirt (can be short or long)
  • White or argyle knee high socks
  • White men’s button down shirt or a very short and tight women’s top
  • Some bubble gum (preferably pink)
  • 1 band aid
  • Accessories such as a book or glasses

Step 1 is to part your hair evenly in the middle and tie each side into a ponytail.

Step 2 is to put on very minimal make up (if you’re going for a more innocent look) or if you’re going for the sexier version, try some red lipstick and heavy eye liner.

Step 3 put on the costume clothes and shoes.

Step 4 is optional but it could be a fun addition. Place the band aid on your knee or fore head to fake a scratch or cut. Remember all the school yard rumbles? Yes, you were part of it.

Step 5 start chewing on the bubble gum. Blow some bubbles to add to the effect.

So there you have it, some options for the school girl costume that you can try this coming Halloween. It’s always great to try something different, especially if you want to stand out at your Halloween party this year.