This amazing woman that I was able to interview is doing extraordinary things. She is teaching English abroad in Japan, aims to complete graduate school, and is multi-talented cosplayer with an empowering and inspiring lifestyle of artistic expression. Her pictures are so cool and I wish I could pull off some of the cosplays Sooyong has created. Sooyong is a dedicated cosplayer who currently resides in Japan who graciously has allowed me to interview her via email, so please enjoy!
Favorite Food: Chicken Nuggets/Strips/Tenders
Career/Job (Current): Elementary school English Teacher
BNP: Please tell us a bit about yourself!
Sooyong: I guess I’m somewhat of a “Jack of All Trades, Master of None” type of person. In addition to cosplay, I also enjoy karaoke, modeling, watching anime, playing video games, blogging, surfing the Internet, and collecting anime goods. I’ve been living in Japan for the past five years and it’s become my second home. I also have some experience with Japanese cosplay culture, which is quite different from that in the US.
BNP: What color would describe you and why?
Sooyong: I dabble in a lot of different things, just as black goes with many colors. Black also tends to not stand out as well as other colors do, and in school I often felt like I was overshadowed by those with more outgoing personalities.
BNP: Do you believe that cosplay is empowering for women?
Sooyong: Absolutely! Cosplay in general has no real rules—it doesn’t matter what your gender, race, or body shape is—it’s about having fun, and that means that anyone can aim to become anything they like. It brings out a side of a person’s personality that may not be seen very often in everyday life. One of the most powerful things a woman can do is to choose what they wear, wear it with confidence, and defy the naysayers who tell them that they shouldn’t wear it.
BNP: Do you create your own cosplays? If so, what is that process like?
Sooyong: Pretty much all of my costumes are handmade. I’m a self-taught amateur, so I often don’t do things “properly” but in a way that I see fit. I plan as much as I can in the beginning stages, but at my level I still run into unexpected dilemmas during the construction phase. It’s a long and tiring process, but it’s highly rewarding. I’ve learned a lot of skills through costume and prop construction, and getting to wear my completed costume in the end is one of the happiest moments for me.
BNP: If you could have any weapon from any anime, what would it be?
Sooyong: I’m glad you didn’t ask me about weapons from a game! I play Dynasty Warriors and there are TONS of awesome weapons to choose from. But since it’s anime that we’re talking about, would a Gundam count as a weapon? I’d love to pilot Wing Zero Custom from GW: Endless Waltz.
BNP: What are your goals for the future?
Sooyong: I’ve been teaching English as a second language to Japanese children for the past five years, and this fall I’ll be moving back to the US to pursue my artistic ambitions and study for graduate school—my goal is to return to Japan and live in Osaka!
Check out her Facebook page!
Ayden Grace Cosplay Photography
Nancy M Photos