The History of Cosplay

What is Cosplay?

The word cosplay is made up of the English words “costume” and “play”. This word was created in the 1980s by a Japanese video game creator named, Takahashi Nobuyuki.

The early definition of cosplay involved designing costumes and dressing up as fictional characters relating to manga, anime, or video games. The culture and expression of cosplay has expanded greatly over the years with all corners of the world participating in it.

Cosplay definition:

Wearing garments, accessories, and makeup to represent a character from a particular genre, typically including science fiction, anime or manga, television/film, video games, and comic books (1).

Cosplay has many elements that involve skill including designing, constructing/building costumes, as well as role playing and embodying the character.

Why People Cosplay?

Role playing and entertainment/theater.

There are many cosplay performances and shows that gained popularity and became a tradition over the years. For example, one popular show we will be talking about is Maid Cafés. Typically, these shows have women cosplaying in French maid uniforms. These outfits are a common occurrence in different anime and manga. The are many of these types of performances at comic/anime conventions. There are even real cafés that hire employees to cosplay at work, while they serve customers.

Fans get to embody their favorite characters! Cosplay gives people the ability to creatively express themselves, engage socially, and boost their confidence.  Both males and females get the opportunity to get out of their shell and become everything they imagined to be. There are many conventions around the world that people can participate in. Each one is offers a unique and fun experience that you may not find elsewhere. You can find a convention near you today! Click here.

“Overall, cosplay could be summed up as an amazing creative outlet through which one can create works of art for others to enjoy and admire” (3).


When I started this blog, a variety of people came to me with all sorts of questions. Most of the people had no clue what cosplay even was. I am happy to introduce everyone to a whole new world of cosplay where we welcome each other with open arms!

Thank you again for taking the time to read my blog. Please support me by following me on my social media or reading my other posts! Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks again and I will see you next week!




(1) Rosenberg, Robin S., and Andrea M. Letamendi. 2018. “Personality, Behavioral, and Social Heterogeneity within the Cosplay Community.” In “The Future of Fandom,” special 10th anniversary issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 28.

(2) Ito, K. & Crutcher, P.A. Soc (2014) 51: 44.

(3) “Cosplay plays big role at convention.” UWIRE Text, 26 Mar. 2018, p. 1. Academic OneFile, Accessed 5 Nov. 2018.