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Wang Shan's Cosplay Passion
Cosplay, a brand-new leisure pursuit from Japan, is currently flavor of the month in South China's Hangzhou.

The name Cosplay (Costume Play) refers to dressing-up, a pastime popular among children and young adults. Cosplayers enjoy dressing up as their favorite Sci-fi, anime, manga and game characters, and attend costume role-playing parties to enjoy themselves and elicit admiration for their outfits.

Super Cosplayer Wang Shan, a fashion design major, is understandably fashion conscious. Reading audio-visual magazines is her hobby. Others are, on sudden impulse, applying make up, dying her hair different colors, and dressing up in exotic outfits. In order to serve others with similar leanings, she established a website, "Surface Incantation," that has attracted other costume aficionados from Shanghai, Suzhou, Beijing, Liaoning, and Xi'an. Wang feels a sense of achievement, based on the proof of her own self-sufficiency, and knowing that she can do her bit for her family.

Optimistic Wang Shan does, in common with most young people, have her frustrations. As her father considers playing guitar a boy's hobby, her second-hand guitar remains hidden under her bed, abandoned in favor of "Surface Incantation." Wang's new plan is to open a Cosplay shop, and to design and sell outfits so as to provide a platform for all Cosplayers.

Wang's talent has brought her an offer from a Shanghai company that deals in garment exports to Japan. Although thrilled at this opportunity, she is also loath to leave her Hangzhou home.

(China Today July 4, 2003)

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