Crafting Global Friendships:
Celebrating 20 Years of the World Cosplay Summit

Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan with support from The Japan Foundation New York,
The World Cosplay Summit, and Curator Diana Tolin

Curator Diana Tolin will be hosting a talk and panel discussion the evening before our exhibition opens to the public!
Click here for more details.

About the Exhibition

Explore the amazing world of cosplay and Japanese culture with a unique collection of costumes handcrafted by professional cosplayers and World Cosplay Summit contestants! Starting today, the JICC is displaying award-winning fanmade pieces from popular Japanese series like JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Cardcaptor Sakura, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and more.

In partnership with the Japan Foundation of New York and the World Cosplay Summit, Inc., the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC), Embassy of Japan proudly presents Crafting Global Friendships: Celebrating 20 Years of the World Cosplay Summit! This exhibit highlights the many international connections that are built through costuming and more specifically, through the world of cosplay.

What is cosplay?

The anime, manga, and video game industries have been steadily fueling Japan’s iconic pop culture for decades. Alongside the vibrant “Lolita” and “Decora” fashion subcultures that emerged in Tokyo during the 80’s and 90’s, “cosplay” refers to a fandom-based fashion movement and performance art style that has skyrocketed in both domestic and international popularity. The original phrase “costume play” was coined in 1984 and eventually shortened to cosplay. Cosplayers dress as their favorite characters and some perform original acts on stage with choreography, stage fighting, singing, and more.

Both professional and casual cosplayers spend years honing their costuming skills, and some even go as far as learning metalworking or engineering techniques to better reflect their favorite characters’ attire. These dedicated artists don their innovative handiwork proudly at meetups and conventions all over the world.

Photo & Video Policy

The Japan Information & Culture Center (JICC), Embassy of Japan reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event sponsored by JICC, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. JICC may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted by JICC including but not limited to: brochures, invitations, newspapers, magazines, television, social media, websites, etc. To ensure the privacy of individuals and children, images will not be identified using full names or personal identifying information without written approval from the photographed subject, parent or legal guardian. A person attending a JICC event who does not wish to have their image recorded for distribution should make their wishes known to the photographer/videographer, and/or the event organizers.