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Cosplay in Japan

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Cosplay in Japan

The famous cartoonist Osamu Tezuka adapted a comic named New Treasure Island in 1947 and comics became popular in Japan, which helped ACG ( Anime, Comic and Game) boom in Japan and fixed its real foundation. In the meantime, cosplay of Disney entered Japan and it had a great influence. People who were fond of ACV imitated what they saw and the act became more and more popular.

The first cosplay show appeared in 1955 and so-called cosplay was just a game for children to dress up like characters of popular animations in Japan at that time. Several cartoons owned a great popularity among children and roles of them were often played. Although cosplay was a game just for children, their garments for cosplay were quite dainty which required enough money. At that time there was no clothing shop which offered this clothing specially in Japan, so kids needed to get proper design and made clothing in department stores. It is said that the famous game producer Hiroi Oji invited geishas who lived nearby to draw cosplay clothing design for him when he was a boy. The situation continued for twenty years, till the early 1980s. The period is very important to cosplay in Japan as the current ideas of cosplay were shaped during that time.

Though cosplay developed a lot in Japan and attracted more and more people, no formal cosplay performance has appeared. Cosplay fans could only take photos and published them with their own money. As the popularity of cartoons and video games, more and more young people liked these photos and they started many teams to play roles. Later, several activities were carried out and many teams joined. They promoted their nice cosplay photos and did all they could to attract new visitors. The phenomenon was quite amazing. Cosplay began to earn great popularity.

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It is said that cosplay is childish in the 1960s and 1970s. The 1980s can be regarded as its time for creating and the 1990s is a period where it began to be mature. In the 1990s the ACV field held several displays on cartoons and comics successfully and they invited many young people to dress up like roles in cartoons and video games to attract more people to attend the displays, which is quite similar to what Disney had done in early times. The conclusion can be made, that is, the start and development of cosplay has much to do the commercialization of ACV. In other word, cosplay is a way for ACV to promote itself and cosplay can develop better with the help of ACV.

Now more and more young people join in cosplay teams and cosplay activities in Japan have influenced many countries and regions, such as China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. To young people who like cosplay, it is not only a game but also a way to express themselves.