Cosplay Fashion Show & Contest

The Greater Kansas City Japan Festival Cosplay Fashion Show and Contest is an opportunity for crafters to showcase their cosplay talent for adoring fans! This year the contest has up to 30 contestants. Each contestant will be given 60 seconds to strut the stage and show their stuff as well as a meeting with our judges beforehand to discuss the finer details of their cosplay.

The contest will start at 6pm. Once the contestants finish their stage walks, we’ll have a special halftime show while the judges deliberate. Finally, the judges will present the prizes, one for each category along with the grand prize for Best in Show.


Best Beginner: $25 and Certificate – Naka-Kon Badge 2023
Best Intermediate: $25 and Certificate – Naka-Kon Badge 2023
Best Master: $25 and Certificate – Naka-Kon Badge 2023
Best in Show: $75 and Certificate – 2 Naka-Kon Badges 2023

Best Mask: Secret Prize!

Exhibition: 10 exhibitors max


All contestants will self-sort into class level. This ensures that each participant is judged fairly among those in their same skill level.

Beginner: Any contestant who has never won an award in any costume/cosplay contest, or has won 2 or fewer minor cosplay awards (e.g., a judge’s choice award, or best beginner runner up). This is also a category you must enter if you are under the age of 14. At least 50% of your costume must be made by you.

Intermediate: Any contestant who has won two or fewer major awards in any costume/cosplay contest or convention cosplay contest (e.g. Best Beginner, or Best Beginner craftsmanship). At least 65% of your costume must be made by you.

Master: Any contestant who has won 3 or more major awards in any costume/cosplay contest or convention cosplay contest, or someone who has income exceeding $10,000 per year from costuming, cosplay, sewing, prop construction, wig construction/styling, or any other costume/cosplay-related field. At least 75% of your costume must be made by you.

If you are entering the contest with other people, then your class will be determined by the highest class achieved by members of your entry (e.g. if you are a Beginner and your partner is a Master, you must enter the Master category, etc.). If you aren’t sure what class you are in, please contact the cosplay contest directors.

Please note the cosplay contest team reserves the right to move you to an appropriate class at any time without prior warning in the interest of the integrity of the contest.


  • Japan Festival is, by its nature, centered on Japanese Culture. Therefore we do require all cosplay entries be related to Japanese Culture. However, the cosplay contest is not only for cosplay. Japanese styles such as lolita fashion or visual kei may also be worn.
  • Due to the family friendly nature of Japan Festival, all costumes MUST cover necessary body parts. If it shows more than you would wear at a public swimming pool, alter it appropriately. Simulated nudity is unacceptable, this includes crossplay. (Include picture to demonstrate. Ask about gender neutral language)
  • This is a craftsmanship contest. You have to make a certain percentage of your costume to be eligible to compete. How much is dependent on your level/class.
  • All costumes must be primarily self-made. Costumes may be made by one person and modeled by another, but the creator must be present.
  • Any entrants under the age of 16 must have a parent/guardian sign their entry form, and any entrants under the age of 10 must have a parent/guardian escort back stage.
  • Contestants may not enter a costume that previously won a major award at a larger event. If the award was minor, such as a best prop or best intermediate runner up, we will waive this rule. Please contact the cosplay contest directors ahead of time if you are uncertain if your cosplay qualifies. This rule is strictly enforced and violations may result in you being disqualified from this and future cosplay contests.
  • You may not wear Black/Brownface or wear any costumes that are offensive or disrespectful to any group of existing, living cultures and people. This includes darkening your skin to match that of an existing race, wear Nazi regalia, etc.
  • Offensive Cosplays: “Offense” is a somewhat subjective term, but we are functioning with the following definition: cosplays that incite violence, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia, ageism, and bigotry. This includes race-facing (e.g. Blackface/Brownface) as well as costumes that replicate historic or current international or national tragedies. The goal is to make sure our attendees feel safe, included, and appreciated, so cosplays should reflect this intent.
  • Groups are allowed. They must be entered at the level of the highest class level member. (IE: If your group has 1 Master and 2 Beginners then your group will be judged as a Master class.)
  • All weapons/props must follow the general festival rules and weapons policy. No real weapons may be used.
  • Registration for this contest constitutes permission to be photographed and videotaped during the contest.
  • Footwear is required. Even if your character goes without them, you must wear them.
  • No throwing objects on stage or into the audience.
  • No flame or smoke effects.
  • No jumping off the stage and no running on stage.
  • Do NOT surprise the cosplay staff. You can surprise the audience, but make sure to check in with cosplay staff to notify of any unusual requests.


Prop weapons of any kind are not allowed on the Festival grounds at Johnson County Community College during the GKC Japan Festival on Saturday, October 8th, 2022. This includes plastic swords, knives, or other weapons including those used for Cosplay. If a Festival Volunteer or JCCC staff member observes any attendee carrying such a prop, they will be asked to remove the prop from the Festival grounds immediately.

The only exceptions will be prop weapons used by entrants in the Cosplay Contest and weapons used by Festival martial arts groups for demonstrations and workshops. Cosplay props may not be carried around the Festival grounds and must be checked in upon entering the festival at the Cosplay Registration booth located in the Midwest Trust Center Lobby. Details will be provided upon check-in including storage of the prop weapons until judging. The Cosplay Contest will be held from 6:00 to 7 p.m. in Polsky Theatre. After the contest, the props must be removed from the Festival grounds.  Please visit the Cosplay Contest Registration booth located in the MTC lobby for additional information.