In Japan, cosplayers with airsoft weapons depict the war in Ukraine / GORDON

Hayao Sato, who has been participating in Japanese reenactors since 2016, told Radio Liberty that earlier fans of this hobby mostly cosplayed the American military. However, in recent years, images of participants in the war in eastern Ukraine have become increasingly popular.

In Japan, there are many masters of such a popular hobby as cosplay – the most detailed transformation into various roles. Now, participants in the war in the Donbass, far from Japan, have been added to the anime characters, writes Radio Svoboda.

“By the bitter irony of fate, the hot phase of the war in eastern Ukraine began with the invasion of Slavyansk by Igor Strelkov’s detachment, who was fond of historical reconstruction of famous battles. Now, perhaps, Strelkov himself will be reconstructed on the other side of the world,” the newspaper notes.



Hayao Sato, who has been participating in Japanese reenactors since 2016, told Radio Liberty that earlier fans of this hobby mostly cosplayed the American military. However, according to him, in recent years, images of participants in the war in eastern Ukraine, one of the bloodiest conflicts in the post-Soviet territory since the collapse of the USSR, have become increasingly popular.

Based on photographs from Ukraine, Japanese enthusiasts recreate not only Ukrainian military and ORDLO militants, but also Russians, for example, FSB officers, or participants in the annexation of Crimea.

Two Japanese “reenactors” in an interview with the publication stressed that there is no ideological motivation for their hobby. According to them, we are talking about an improved version of the game “cowboys against the Indians”, in which the symbolism is intended only to distinguish between the opposing sides.

Nevertheless, the Japanese are meticulous in recreating the details – they monitor the latest innovations in the uniforms and weapons of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers on the Internet, and buy props on a specialized forum. There you can find not only serial samples of airsoft copies of modern weapons, but also order exact copies of rare weapons, which will be specially printed for you on a 3D printer. Many samples of weapons and other equipment are made to order after a careful study of photographs and videos from the war zone in Donbass.

The owner of another store that specializes in the sale of Russian military uniforms in Japan says that he often succeeds in offering customers “original, albeit used items.” He refuses to disclose the secret of their origin, referring to “commercial secrets”.

According to Hayao Sato, a full outfit for a Ukrainian or Russian soldier, including weapons, can cost up to $ 2,000 and take weeks until all the necessary components are found.

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