Enako, Japan’s most famous and successful cosplayer, has a whole bunch of costumes. How many? An entire storage room full of them.
Cosplay has become big business in Japan—and Enako has been, no doubt, the most successful cosplayer the country has seen. So, no wonder she needs a warehouse for all her threads!
As previously reported, Enako burst onto the Japanese cosplay scene around 2012. By 2016, she was making around $9,000 a month from cosplay. But that number soon shot up. By 2019, she was making over $90,000 a month. At that time, Enako said she was being hired as a spokesperson for anime and game companies, and was also earning income from streaming.
Now, she appears on the cover of numerous Japanese magazines, acts in movies as well as providing voice acting, and has even recorded pop music. According to the Japanese media, Enako currently rakes in the equivalent of around one million dollars a year. Her success has been big news in Japan, with some smarting from the idea of a cosplayer making so much money. According to Enako, “Some people say, ‘Pay taxes,’ and I reply, ‘I’m freaking paying ‘em.’”
In the clip below, Enako shows off her costume warehouse. It looks to be an entire apartment filled with storage containers.
When asked how many costumes she has, Enako replied, “I wonder. I’ve never counted them, but I think around 400 to 500 [costumes].”
With that many costumes, you must be organized.
Each container has a photo of the contents, with some labels featuring an image of the character that Enako will bring to life.
In the back, there’s a room for wigs along with props like swords and canes.
Last year, Kotaku reported that the Japanese government mulled copyright law changes for those who made big money from cosplaying, that would require professional cosplayers to pony up a licensing fee. Note that the proposed legislation would not impact fan cosplayers.
At that time, Enako discussed the issue, explaining that when she goes on television or appears at paid events, she dresses as original characters to avoid copyright infringement. Moreover, she adds that she also gets permission when she cosplays as characters created by others. As mentioned above, cosplay is big business.