Kigurumi is the foundation of the modern and eccentric onesie styles that we witness today on everyone ranging from childrens, adults, and especially celebrities. But what is kigurumi? Well, there are actually two separate entities that fall under the “kigurumi” umbrella. One is the Japanese cultural phenomenon and the other is a onesie designer that is directly inspired by the aforementioned phenomenon (for the sake of clarity, I will refer to the company as “Kigu”; the shortened name that is advertised on their website.)
What is this cultural phenomenon and how does it relate to the international onesie craze? Kigurumi is basically dressing up as characters as a form of cosplay. Literally translated, kigurumi roughly means “to wear a stuffed toy.” These characters are usually (but not always) animals. Similar to what one would see at Disney World or any other tourist attractions that involve costumed characters, one can find these Japanese cosplay outfits at shopping malls, parades, and various conventions.
A particularly popular venue for these outfits are the very popular anime conventions held in Japan (and around the world.) These costumes involve life like costumes based on various human characters found in anime culture. The outfits feature a large mask that covers the head and face. The cartoonish traits of the characters are replicated on the mask creating a sort of life size bobble head appearance. Kigurumi is immensely popular in Japanese culture and plays a huge role in cosplay and onesies alike.
So now you may be wondering how all of this ties into the world of onesies. As stated before, the online retailer company named Kigu is directly inspired by the kigurumi culture. In fact, Kigu is partially responsible for just how popular dressing up as animals (as well as characters) has become world wide. Kigu is one of the most productive and creative contributors to the onesie fashion world. Their designs are nothing short of fun and they have created an international admiration for dressing up in these incredibly comfortable one piece garments (and sometimes even having a party in honor of it!)
The Kigurumi onesies are also known as “disguise pajamas” in Japan, though in reality, the borders of where one can or can’t wear a onesie is expanding everyday. It is now commonplace for onesies to be worn as street wear, particularly by teenagers and young adults. Thanks to the extensive selection on the Kigu website, one is bound to see the entire animal kingdom by simply walking down the street in fashion forward Japan!
The Kigu company states, “Each of the animals in the Kigu range is lovingly represented with carefully selected facial features, prints, tails and other surprises. The Kangaroo Kigu, for instance, comes with a little joey in its pouch.” This is a company that clearly loves what they and and wants to do it well. The site later explains, “When you buy an animal onesie from us you can be sure of one thing – it’s a genuine Japanese Kigu! We’re extremely careful where we source our stock. We work closely with Japan’s oldest and most respected kigurumi manufacturer to ensure the quality of our onesies and develop the best new styles.”
When you buy from Kigu you are truly taking part in a fun and heartwarming piece of Japanese culture, straight from the source. The opportunities for this form of cosplay are endless! It’s very possible to spend hours on the Kigu website attempting to find the perfect onesie (or maybe five!) So get online and start deciding what your kigu - there are onesies parties just waiting to be planned!