Cosplay is a kind of hobby or art where people dress up in costumes as their favorite character. The word ‘cosplay’ comes from a Japanese expression that mixes the words ‘costume’ and ‘play’. The people who do cosplay call themselves ‘cosplayers’. Some cosplayers dress in costume and go to events like comic conventions. Professional cosplayers can even make money by showing up at events wearing detailed costumes! Many people spend months or even years making their own costumes. Some people buy their costumes from special online shops. Cosplayers sometimes dress as popular characters from Japanese animation (‘anime’) or comic books (‘manga’). Some people wear costumes from popular movies like ‘Star Wars’. For many years, the Star Trek uniform has been popular with cosplayers.

People cosplay for many different reasons. One reason is to show their love for a particular character as a fan. Another reason is to get attention and positive comments from others at events like conventions. Finally, some people just enjoy the challenge of designing and making a cool costume! Although many people believe that cosplay recently started in Japan, the origins of cosplay seem to be over 100 years ago in America. Americans called it ‘costuming’.

If you liked this lesson, why not try this one on Japan’s Idols: AKB48?