Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Danny Choo, who came as a Stormtrooper, was one of many Firefox users who came to Spread Firefox in Akihabara to help promote Firefox by handing out flyers and talking to pedestrians. Danny has uploaded some photos as well.

Cosplay is a practice with origins in Japan that came out of the Anime community where fans dressed up as their favorite Anime characters. The culture is spreading to the US, but Akihabara is one of the centers of Cosplay. Wikipedia has a good article on Cosplay. It turned out that a number of Firefox users were Cosplay fans and showed up in their wear to help out in Akihabara. They were a big hit. The while maid Cosplay thing is very big in Japan - especially in Akihabara. There are Cosplay Cafes and even Maid Cosplay Cafes. The whole maid thing is an interesting phenomenon and isn't as fetish driven as it might appear at first glance.

Anyway, big thanks to everyone who showed up to helps, especially the Cosplayers. (I blogged about my little Cosplay party a few years ago.)

There is a big event in Kamakura tomorrow so if you're in Japan, please come join the fun.


wish I'd been there - although, I bet Danny was pretty hot in that costume with the weather there! ouch...

Great event for Firefox though :)

Reminds me of when I went to the Phantom Menace opening in Japan... a guy showed up in a decent homemade Stormtrooper costume before most of the crowd showed up. He went beside the Darth Vader "standee" life-size cardboard cutout and stood very still; latecomers would go up to him, thinking he was a mannequin, and then he'd suddenly gesture at them with his blaster or something, scaring the crap out of them. It was especially funny to see the "cool guy" surfer-types try to walk it off after almost wetting their pants...

Great photos. Thanks for sharing these links Joi.

If a storm trooper told me to download Firefox, I'm pretty sure that I would listen. Good idea.

How funny to see Danny again in full armor, and in a good cause, too!

that's a cool idea to spread FX.

Cool..Even cooler that Danny's a Microsoft employee.

Is carrying around a gun replica in public really ok in Japan? I'm a little surprised by that.

How I would love to get on that cool train ride from tokyo down to kamakura, see some cosplay and go get some surf!

I got a cool t-shirt from the surfing bakery there also...Still holding its own.



I really wish I didn't have to work as much, I wanted to make it out to see that.

Bizarre, it appears to be a whole segment of society that yearns for this form of escapism. I wonder what people get out of this - do they want to feel that they are the figure they are emulating? Is it a living fantasy? Is it social?

"Cosplay" is the most sophisticated culture of Japan, I think.

What do you think of the short film at Tokyonodoko, is this really Cosplay or commercialism in a parade. It seems too beatiful to be kids my age? I'd like to know other opinion.

We had sme great parties. Loking forward to next time.