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Goin’ Japanesque!

Real Cosplay Photo Shoot at Fukuoka “Kurate Gakuen”: School Open for Cosplay Events

The Relationship between Japanese Anime/Manga and School

Many Japanese games, anime and manga stories take place in schools. You might have come across with school life scenes many times, when the main character of a story is a student.

When we think about it, a school is a place many people are very familiar with, spent their youth and have many memories with. It is a place where we study in order to prepare for going out to the society, share joys and sorrows with friends. The time we spend there is in no means a short period of time.

However, the school is also a place that we feel suddenly unfamiliar and distanced from once we graduate from it. What was once daily scenes for us rapidly change into unfamiliar, foreign ones as the time passes.

One pleasure of games and anime may be that they remind us of the past.


Good Environment is Indispensable to Enjoying Cosplay More Deeply

As we immerse ourselves deeper into anime and manga works, we strongly wish to actually step into their world. And we think cosplay helps us make it happen. By recording oneself cosplaying in photos and looking at them objectively by oneself or with friends, we get to feel as if we were entering into the world of the stories.

In the past cosplay involved creating our own costumes. However as an increase of cosplayers gave rise to demand, off-the-shelf costumes produced by manufacturers have also increased these days. As a result, the environment for cosplay improved much better with the reduction in the burden of preparing costumes. Yet there is one more problem left that we must overcome.

It is the environment in terms of location. We might call it background, and we need to reproduce particular background in order to enter the world of stories deeper. Today many photo studios have sprung up in Japan and needs for environment and landscapes are met to some extent. However there are still several settings left that are very hard to arrange for.

One of them is a school. In particular, both hallways and gymnasium require a large space and it is not feasible to take photos without using a real school.

But there is actually an event venue that has made it possible. It is “Kurate Gakuen” that we are introducing this time, and it is a cosplay event venue that has utilized a closed school entirely as it is.


About Kurate Gakuen


Writer’s Photo

Kurate South Middle School in Fukuoka Prefecture was closed in 2015 due to a reorganization of school districts. “Kurate Gakuen” utilizes the entire school, making it possible to take photos in every corner of school environment.

Writer’s Photo: You can use desks and chairs as you wish.

Equipment such as chairs and desks are left intact, and they are indeed real things as they are what had been actually used until the closure. As they are well-used, they produce a real school atmosphere by just being there.

Writer’s Photo, Hallway: This view is so unique to schools.

Writer’s Photo: Gymnasium

Of course you can take photos in the hallway and gymnasium, too. In gymnasium even volleyball net is put up in the court, and it meets demand for volleyball-themed stories, as well. “Hikyu!!” may be a good example in recent works.

Writer’s Photo

In addition, even rooftops are open for use. Rooftops often appear in the scenes to eat lunch in anime and manga, and they are fully reproducible, too. Depending on your idea, you can shoot photos of a variety of other situations.

Writer’s Photo: Actual Cosplay Photo Shoot

As there is plenty of space available, you can shape your idea into interesting pieces.

Those who don’t have cosplay costumes only need to sign up at the reception desk to rent them. Since the school staff includes camera-savvy official photographers, you need not worry if you are unsure about how to take good photos. You can feel free to ask for advice or have photos taken.

Kurate Gakuen is often open during the last weekend of each month. We would like you to fully experience the unique cosplay culture that Japan has nurtured.

Location: Kurate-cho Oaza Nigita 933-1, Kurate-gun, Fukuoka Prefecture, Map
Participation Fee: 1000 yen, Official Website

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