We have a lot of cosplayers coming to Ennichisai, may it be from Indonesia or not, and they are bringing us the most awesome cosplays that we will be able to please our eyes with. And now, we are incredibly excited to introduce you to the famous Financial Cosplayer, with 17+ years of cosplay experience, 10+ years of professional economist/institutional investor experience, and an official Forbes Japan columnist! She’s not someone that you can find anywhere else, it’s Hikari Green!
Q: “Hello Hikari-san!”
Q: “First, can you introduce yourself to our readers?”
HG: “Yes! I am Hikari Green, and I have been a cosplayer for 17 or 18 years. And I have been to Indonesia 10 years ago for months, so bisa bahasa Indonesia sedekit-sedekit! I am also an otaku and fujoshi for more than 20 years. I have been to over than 50 countries by backpack, and 10 countries for cosplay competitions. I have been working for 10 years as an economist and institutional investor in Mitsui Sumitomo Bank, and I finally went independent last year!”
Q: “Thank you. So Hikari-san, can you tell us what made you decide to start doing cosplays?”
HG: “It’s a story way back when I was a student. I was bullied because I had a disease, and they (the bullies) were cruel. People didn’t want to talk to me, I was shocked, and I had no place to be comfortable. Then one day I went to a convention, and I met an amazing cosplayer senpai who asked to take a photo with me. She told me I was cute, and I was surprised that it was the first time anyone told me that I am cute. That experience led me to change, and I started cosplaying.”
Q: “So cosplay changed Hikari-san’s life?”
HG: “Yes, cosplay actually became my life. It means a lot to me.”
Q: “For someone to flourish after all that, it certainly is amazing. But even more amazing is being a Financial Cosplayer. What does Hikari-san think of that name?”
HG: “I’m happy to have this name, because I’m the only person to have this name. On financial side, many financial people are trying to spread the knowledge about financial but in Japan there’s not much youngsters who want to know about financial. By connecting cosplay and financial, I wish for people to have more interest in financing. Also, I’m trying to introduce cosplay to the world of business.”
Q: “Uh… I’m actually shocked by how amazing Hikari-san is. No kidding!”
HG: “Terima kasih!”
Q: “Aside for being a Financial Cosplayer, Hikari-san is also a deep fujoshi with 20+ years. But does Hikari-san remember what made her a fujoshi?”
HG: “Yes I do! It was a small magazine I got in a bookshop when I was young. It was a Samurai X magazine fanart. I took it because the cover was Samurai X, but unknown to me, that when I opened it there was a lot of yaoi content! I was really shocked! It was dirty, and I didn’t know what to do back then. But after a while, I found out that I liked that kind of content!”
Q: “All this time, I thought those events only happens in anime, but it seems like I am wrong… So Hikari-san, does being a fujoshi affect Hikari-san’s cosplay choices?”
HG: “It certainly does. The reason I do cosplays was that I love to cosplay ikemen characters (male good-looking characters). There are not so many ikemen in Japan, so I wanted to create as much as possible by herself. And sometimes, I like to make yaoi pairs with my friends. Because you know, characters in animes are too beautiful!”
Q: “Taking matters into your own hands, I see. I’m pretty sure even Hikari-san has her own favorite ikemen?”
HG: “Yes! It is Hetalia: Axis Powers’ America. I cosplayed too many versions of him… I cosplayed every kind of outfits America has. America has enabled me to meet a lot of cosplayers, because my cosplay of him spread so much after I posted them on DeviantArt.”
Q: “Ahh, okay. So, what does Hikari-san think her biggest achievement in her cosplay career is?”
HG: “Aah… For me, I have two achievements. Firstly, I think there are few Japanese who can speak English and other languages and have been to so many foreign conventions, and that is my biggest achievement. Ten years ago, I’ve been to Germany, Spain, Thailand, and so many other conventions. People also told me that I am the first (Japanese) who can communicate with foreigners, so I’m happy about that. And Secondly, I have worked in one of the Japanese biggest banks for 10 years as professional economist and institutional investor at the same time, that means I can be the bridge between world cosplays and Japanese business people. I think it is one of the biggest achievements in cosplay world. For that, not only cosplay magazines, being able to write for Forbes and get many articles on business newswires after going independent.”
Q: “That’s Financial Cosplayer for you! Hikari-san, after going to so many conventions in your career over the years, how far does Hikari-san think cosplay has grown since Hikari-san started?
HG: “Ah, this is interesting, because in the beginning cosplay was really closed. 17 years ago, it’s really hard to find information about cosplay conventions. Cosplay was small and closed. But nowadays, cosplaying is mainstream. Everyone (or most) people in Japan knows cosplay. Even non-Otaku people wear costume because they want to cosplay. Back then, cosplay is discriminated, because Japanese people think cosplay is weird. Even if I come out telling people that I’m a cosplayer, I don’t think people will understand it. It was too weird, that I had to keep it a secret. People always ask whether I’m okay and talks to me as if I’m weird. But nowadays, a lot of people around the world is cosplaying, and it really helps cosplay to be known worldwide.
Q: “I would have never thought of that. I got exposed to cosplay around 10 years back, but looking back, I don’t think a lot of people know cosplay in Indonesia. Now that you said it, I must agree that a lot of people are more exposed to cosplay. It’s really eye-opening”
HG: “I’m glad that you get it!”
Q: “So Hikari-san, being a veteran cosplayer and judge, does Hikari-san have some tips or tricks to enjoy cosplaying for our friends in the cosplay community?”
HG: “Many people have their own preference to cosplay. But I believe, that the passion and the love to the character you’re cosplaying is the most important thing. Not to be perfect or cute, but I believe that the passion is what made people enjoy doing cosplays. Although in judging we do have points for character accuracy and performance and we see that but still I think the love and respect to the characters is one the most important parts.”
Q: “Hum, I have to agree on that one. While on the topic of cosplay community, Hikari-san is partly working in World Cosplay Summit right now. Can Hikari-san tell us about that?”
HG: “Yes, it was when I went independent. A lot of medias made articles about me and I got little fame from that. Then, WCS has lots of interests to my cosplay experiences in the world and my professional financial careers. After having discussion with them over 1year, I decide to join them as a kind of advisor or partner since I know financial and business so I can help them to grow from the point of view of financial/business, and my career help them to access to more Japanese business people. And also, I know cosplay in the world over 10 years, so I want to contribute to them to tell more about cosplay and the world.”
Q: “Did Hikari-san know that Indonesia won the 2nd place in World Cosplay Summit last year?”
HG: “Yes! I was amazed by their performance and costume. They’re amazing! I had the chance to talk to them, and they were really nice to me. I was so happy to talk with them in person. And I’m really excited to come to Indonesia this year.”
Q: “We’re also looking forward for Hikari-san’s visit to Indonesia! We also heard that apparently, Hikari-san has been to Indonesia before. Could Hikari-san tell us about it?”
HG: “When I was a University student, I had a research about the Indonesian economy for 2 years. Then I also had research in Indonesia for over one month, and I stayed in Kampung Pengeragoan, Bali. After that, I also got to visit Jakarta and Jogjakarta. I had researched about Indonesia beforehand from many books, such as the politics and the economy of Indonesia. And also I learned Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) then, so I can speak Indonesian a little. And after staying in Indonesia over a month, I fell in love with Indonesia. It’s been 10 years since my visit to Indonesia, and I miss Indonesia!”
Q: “How does Hikari-san think Indonesia is compared to other countries?”
HG: “I feel that Indonesia has a lot of power… Indonesia has a lot of people, and the youngsters in Indonesia have a lot of power and energy. I guess that’s a little bit different from other countries? And I also miss Indonesian food such as Nasi Goreng, Mie Goreng, Pisang Bakar, Mangga, and many more!”
Q: “So, since Hikari-san is coming to Ennichisai this year, how did Hikari-san come to know Ennichisai and decide to come?
HG: “I already had some Indonesian cosplayer friends for 10 years ago on DeviantArt, and I actually has got the information about the biggest convention in Indonesia since years ago. They told me about Ennichisai, and I am really excited to finally come and meet the people in person.”
Q: “Does Hikari-san have a message for our friends that are coming to Ennichisai this year?”
HG: “It means a lot for me to come to Indonesia as a guest to Ennichisai, and I am really happy to come to Indonesia to meet with Indonesian cosplayers in person. I am really looking forward to it!”
Q: “Thank you for the interview Hikari-san! I wish you all the best!”
HG: “Terima Kasih!”
If you want to know more about Hikari Green, you can check her out on (http://hikarigreen.com/profiles).
For her cosplay and portrait works, you can go to https://www.instagram.com/hikari_green/) or (https://www.facebook.com/HikariGreen/). You can also check her Media Coverage at (https://otakuhikari.com/?cat=39), or her Forbes articles (in english) at (https://otakuhikari.com/?cat=21). HShe also has her travelling archives which you can access at (https://otakuhikari.com/?page_id=467). Not only that, she also has a music composing website at (http://www016.upp.so-net.ne.jp/hikarigreen/).
See you on the next article!
"Interviewed by Harris Sentanu"