The Nippon Foundation Announces Cosplay de UMIGOMI Zero Award 2020 Winners at World Cosplay SummitRecognizing cosplayers’ unique activities to address ocean debris

The Cosplay de UMIGOMI Zero Award 2020 ceremony was held jointly by The Nippon Foundation and the World Cosplay Summit Executive Committee (WCS) on August 2 at World Cosplay Summit 2020 Online, to recognize unique activities using cosplay to address the issue of ocean debris (umigomi is a combination of the Japanese words for ocean (umi) and waste or trash (gomi)). Cosplayers often have to pick up trash in locations they use for photography when they assume their characters, and many are very interested in environmental issues.

The awards were intended to encourage activities to raise awareness of the issue of ocean debris and contribute to its reduction from the unique perspective of cosplayers, and to give exposure to superior endeavors being carried out around the world. Entries were accepted from October 1, 2019, to March 30, 2020, and a total of 312 entries were received (161 entries from 23 countries for the Action category, and 151 entries from 25 countries for the Costume category). The winners were selected by a panel of outside judges. The winners received prizes of up to 1 million yen and were appointed “ambassadors” who may appear at future events as plans are developed.

Mitsuyuki Unno, Executive Director of The Nippon Foundation, at the awards ceremony

Action category

For activities to address ocean debris, including activities that lead to a reduction of ocean debris or that raise awareness of the issue of ocean debris

Grand Prize: Clean Up “Grebek Plastik” (Take the Plastic)
Cosplayers: Machipot Cosplay Indonesia (Indonesia)

On Sunday mornings in an area of Jakarta that is closed to traffic, the cosplayers gather and distribute 500 reusable cloth tote bags to the general public in exchange for plastic bottles and plastic shopping bags. They also carry signs they have made to call on people to reduce ocean debris. With ocean debris becoming an increasingly serious problem in Indonesia, the group was recognized for its success in calling attention to this issue among a broad section of the population.

Machipot Cosplay Indonesia pose for a photograph in Jakarta

Comment from Action category grand prize winners Machipot Cosplay Indonesia: Our activities to protect the global environment involve requesting many people to have a positive effect. We will continue to use cosplay as a way to work toward resolving the problem of ocean debris.

Costume category

For the creation of costumes that reduce ocean debris, or specific ideas for making cosplay costumes that incorporate an awareness of the 3Cs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).

Grand Prize: Anti-Debris Dress Made from 100 Plastic Bottles
Cosplayer: Mai Mai (Indonesia)

Mai Mai
The process of creating a fabulous dress from discarded plastic debris

Mai Mai made a magnificent costume from more than 100 discarded plastic bottles and other items like plastic bags and food packaging. The dress portion in particular is made with great attention to detail and is highly original, but the costume was also recognized for showing how easy it is for anyone to make something similar, and can be expected to resonate widely.

List of award recipients

(1) Action category

Prize / Monetary Award* Activity Cosplayer(s)
Activity Summary
Grand Prize / 1 million yen Clean Up “Grebek Plastik” (Take the Plastic) Machipot Cosplay Indonesia (Indonesia) In an area closed to traffic, cosplayers collect unwanted plastic bottles and bags from passersby and distribute cloth tote bags in return. They also carry signs that call on people to reduce ocean debris.
2nd Prize / 500,000 yen Sadness Queen of the Sea Vinvid ReGina Present (Indonesia) Two cosplayers made a unique, short video to convey effectively the problem of ocean debris. The video is of very high quality and can be seen as a powerful message from the unique perspective of cosplayers.
3rd Prize / 300,000 yen Children’s Save the Oceans Day Kimberley Piccolo (Belgium) A school teacher who is also a cosplayer organized a children’s day to enable children to understand the importance of recycling and not littering. Teachers dressed as cosplay characters to attract the children’s interest.
Special Prize / 100,000 yen Cosplay4Ocean Project – Part of your World Daisy, Imriel, & Marta Garofalo (Italy) Using the character Ariel from The Little Mermaid as a symbol of what real sea creatures have to suffer, this photographic project was shared on social media to raise funds to promote awareness and address the problem of ocean debris.

(2) Costume category

Prize / Monetary Award* Activity Cosplayer(s)
Activity Summary
Grand Prize / 200,000 yen Anti-Debris Dress, made from 100 plastic bottles Mai Mai (Indonesia) A magnificent costume was made from more than 100 discarded plastic bottles and other plastic items. In addition to having high quality and originality, the costume effectively shows how anyone can easily make a similar costume.
2nd Prize / 100,000 yen Mermaid Princess, made from plastic foam and other discarded items Kris Kuz (Russia) Beautiful textures were created entirely from reused materials. The character is the mermaid princess Shirahoshi, and the photos remind viewers of plastic waste, creating a strong visual impact that is sure to attract attention.
3rd Prize / 50,000 yen Odogaron costume, made from waste paper and plastic bottles Yumaki (Indonesia) This very unique costume was selected for the extremely high quality of the molding and the outstanding technique involved in making sharp face angles with papier-mache. At first glance, you can’t imagine how it was made.
Special Prize / 50,000 yen Chinese phoenix, made from discarded items Donna Starling (United Kingdom) You would not believe that this beautiful figure was made from discarded materials. Even the braces and other hard-to-find items are made almost entirely from reused materials.
  • * Monetary awards were presented with the understanding that they will be used to further the activities of the winning cosplayers.

For more information. Please visit the Cosplay de UMIGOMI Zero Award 2020 website(external site)

Judges’ comments

Reika (President, 12 Company Inc.)

There were many wonderful submissions and the judging was very difficult. In addition to the quality of the submission itself, I was looking for its ability to spread a message. I hope these cosplayers will continue to carry out these wonderful activities.

Toru Furuya (Voice actor)

To be honest, at first I had no idea that this many cosplayers were addressing the issue of ocean debris. I hope that this will spur an interest in this problem among many other people and that they are encouraged to think about what they can do themselves. I also plan to get involved.

Yasuhiko Hotta (Program director, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies)

With so many entries from around the world, the judging was very intense. I looked mostly at the Action category, and based my evaluation on the extent to which the activity was able to encourage more people to become involved.

Judges Yasuhiko Hotta, Toru Furuya, and Reika (left to right)


Public Relations Team
The Nippon Foundation

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