The Japanese manga industry and the cosplay (costume play) world, have been circling the globe with doctors, lawyers, and many others imitating “Saki,” “Eri” and “Mimori” as some of the characters that are popular. There are now fashion shows and parties that are featuring cosplay characters. These cosplay parties allow normal people to become a different character, to living for a short time in a fantasy world just like TV characters, manga stars, Batman, Superman and Snow White.
One can become just about anything he or she wants. The global cosplay phenomenon is now accelerating and there is even a World Cosplay Summit being held in Tokyo from July 27 to August 4 – several weeks from today with participants from over 100 countries. Some are even dressing up as lawyers, doctors, political figures and even Big Bird, and other characters from their childhood.
Our Views: Japanese culture truly has more impact on global popular culture, more than people think. The Transformers started in Japan, as did the words “tsunami” and “tycoon” and major brands of autos and cameras. The kimono, as well as Karate which means “open hand” in human combat. Manga and anime have been more recent words that moved from Japan to the lexicons of Europe, the US, and China. Living in Tokyo, one of our partners was speaking to his Japanese son, who after studying European and US history pointed out “cosplay revolutionaries” as he called them, the US group Antifa was on his mind.