Huichuan (Tom) Hu is a PhD Candidate in Japanese Studies at the Asia Institute of the Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne. His research focuses on Japanese popular culture, subcultures and mass media communications viewed through the lens of power relations, youth identity, and the sociology of tourism.
The Commercialisation of Cosplay: Dynamics of Power Relations in Japanese Cosplay Culture
Cosplay is a fan culture that involves dressing and performing as fictional characters from popular culture (e.g. films, video games, anime). While most of the cosplayers make their own costumes and seek enjoyment and pleasure from cosplay performance, in recent years, cosplay is increasingly commercialised in Japan as costumes are being commodified by online and offline shops, and cosplay performance is increasingly involved with advertising and tourism. This research thus explores how different forms of commercialisation might bring changes to cosplay, and how cosplayers experience and react to the trend of commercialisation.