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Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Cos-Play Japanese sub-culture.

Cos-Play, short for costume play, is an entire subculture in Japan that centres around dressing up like anime and video game characters or from live action television, fantasy movies, pop bands and some other random categories.

Most people have seen images of these cos-play enthusiasts before, but what we don't know is how grand this subculture is.

Well if this doesn't paint the picture I don't know what would. A Tokyo school has just begun teaching an innovative new subject called Cos-plish, a hybrid of the words “cos-play” and “English.”

The strange course focuses on three topics which have become increasingly popular among Japanese culture: the English language, manga, and costume-play. It’s centered around Otaku, the Japanese word for the geeks obsessed with anime and manga. To top off the bizarreness of it all, the teachers dress up in fantasy gear to teach the classes.

There are even Anime expos, where people come to flaunt their likeness to their favourite manga character. These expos apparently take place in North America as well but costuming is restricted in Japan in ways that don't exist in North American conventions. To start, at major cos-play events such as the twice-yearly Comic Market in Tokyo, the costumes have to fit certain standards. They can't be too wide or considered too dangerous. Costumes must be approved by event committees before they're worn.

I'm thinking Japanese fancy dress parties are a difficult place to impress.

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posted by Bear @ 11:51  
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