Update: Tokyo Comic Con Rescinds Ban on Male Crossplay
posted on by Eric Stimson
On October 21, Tokyo Comic Con instituted a ban on male crossplay. The ban ignited controversy on foreign websites (including this one), especially since no such ban was instituted for female crossplay. While the con committee did not explain the ban, there is speculation that these types are rules are put in place to prevent large numbers of middle-aged men in girls' school uniforms from attending — "visual terrorism," as crossplay photographer Naoko Tachibana refers to it.
However, the committee has since rescinded the ban. According to a post on Tokyo Comic Con's Facebook page:
As a result of committee consultations, we will remove the ban on male crossplay. However, to accompany this, we will have different colors for men and women on the on-site cosplay registration IDs. Cosplay registration IDs will be checked at the entrances to bathrooms and changing rooms, so please bring them with you. We kindly request your understanding and cooperation.
Cosplay registration costs 500 yen ($4.79) per day. The con has numerous other cosplay restrictions, including a ban on cosplay outside of the designated photography area, an underwear requirement, a ban on police, firefighter, and military uniforms, and a ban on cosplay with "excessive exposure that creates extreme discomfort."
Bans or restrictions on male crossplay are not unusual in Japan. However, male crossdressing is hardly unheard of, as Sailor Fuku Ojisan and Ladybeard demonstrate.