The origins of kigurumi?

      I've never been able to get a good answer to this question myself.

      My web search turned up pictures of what we would call Animegao Kigurumi characters as far back as 1986. I have some shots of Kigurumi performers that were at the Tokyo Toy show in 1996, at Comic Market 57 in 1999. However, I can't tell if these were fans or just performers hired by the companies who made the Anime, acting as mascots.

      Wikipedia tells us that Sailor Moon live action Musicals began in 1993 These were stage shows much like theatrical musicals in the US. Somewhere along the line, these shows morphed into live action shows where all the cast wore full head masks of the characters, all the stage movements and fight scenes were choreographed, all the character dialog was pre recorded with the musical soundtrack, so the actors did not have to speak. While I have pictures of such shows dating back to 1993, I can't say if they were specific to any particular amusement park, or if they were traveling troupes making the rounds of fairs. Many of these shows have been recorded and uploaded to Youtube. So were the Tokyo Mew Mew and Pretty Cure stage shows.

      I think it interesting to note that Disney Tokyo opened in 1983. This may well have given the Japanese Anime makers, the idea of doing complete "Mascot" live shows.

      I have old pictures of fans doing Animegao Kigurumi that go back to 1999, possibly even that Toy show in 1996. So it's safe to say that some fans were inspired by the Kigurumi stage shows, to create their own Animegao versions of original and anime characters.

      Again, this is all my conjecture of what happened. I have never had the opportunity to sit down and talk with any of the Japanese Kig performers, to get their input.

      Miss Kiki

      Miss Kiki wrote:

      I've never been able to get a good answer to this question myself.

      My web search turned up pictures of what we would call Animegao Kigurumi characters as far back as 1986. I have some shots of Kigurumi performers that were at the Tokyo Toy show in 1996, at Comic Market 57 in 1999. However, I can't tell if these were fans or just performers hired by the companies who made the Anime, acting as mascots.

      Wikipedia tells us that Sailor Moon live action Musicals began in 1993 These were stage shows much like theatrical musicals in the US. Somewhere along the line, these shows morphed into live action shows where all the cast wore full head masks of the characters, all the stage movements and fight scenes were choreographed, all the character dialog was pre recorded with the musical soundtrack, so the actors did not have to speak. While I have pictures of such shows dating back to 1993, I can't say if they were specific to any particular amusement park, or if they were traveling troupes making the rounds of fairs. Many of these shows have been recorded and uploaded to Youtube. So were the Tokyo Mew Mew and Pretty Cure stage shows.

      I think it interesting to note that Disney Tokyo opened in 1983. This may well have given the Japanese Anime makers, the idea of doing complete "Mascot" live shows.

      I have old pictures of fans doing Animegao Kigurumi that go back to 1999, possibly even that Toy show in 1996. So it's safe to say that some fans were inspired by the Kigurumi stage shows, to create their own Animegao versions of original and anime characters.

      Again, this is all my conjecture of what happened. I have never had the opportunity to sit down and talk with any of the Japanese Kig performers, to get their input.

      Miss Kiki

      Woah. I never expected it to go that far back... Mind sharing some of the really old pictures you have?
      It's a good thing I never clear my browser. Here's a list of some of the sites I referenced. Note some of the links no longer work.

      yuriskigurumi.com/link.htm
      yumekuri.nobody.jp/eng/links.html
      kigurumi-ska.com/
      big.or.jp/~taxxan/TFA/TRL/
      mars.dti.ne.jp/~kousaku/kd/index.html
      geocities.jp/kakkie_corner/kigurumi/cos1.html
      gyotti.ddo.jp/~yuki/top_e.html
      gyotti.ddo.jp/~yuki/Gallery/gallery_e.html
      gyotti.ddo.jp/~yuki/Gallery/200311-toshima/index.html

      As time progresses some people lose interest in the hobby, so links disappear.Lie Dool is a great example of this. Maybe there's a way through the wayback machine to recover these sites.


      Now let's see what Jo can come up with.

      Kiki

      Miss Kiki wrote:

      Cici:

      Can any of our Japanese guests provide us with more historical background from Japan?

      Kiki


      I have an answer!

      "Well, Amateur Animegao Kigurumi started back in 1995 (1994),
      Kigurumi itself started all the way back in 18th Century.
      it was called nuigurumi'
      The form of Animegao Kigurumi was turned out to become known around 1998.
      Sailormoon show was probably one of the influencing content to develop Animegao Kig culture."


      Professor Kazunori Uhyo Sugiura
      Associate Professor, PhD at Keio University
      Tokyo, Japan
      Sailor Moon was my first anime during the Saturday morning cartoons in the 90's and I didn't realized how it helped kickstart the hobby of animegao cosplaying. I would give some credit to Ms. Naoko Takeuchi for her role of helping to increase the popularity of animegao cosplay.
      Kig-O Member since September 2016

      Post was edited 2 times, last by “Senkan” ().