nakajima youko

Character Name: Nakajima Youko
Series: Twelve Kingdoms (Juuni Kokuki)
Outfit: Minister robes

Started: December 2017
Finished: August 2018
Hours to make: 69
Cost of materials: approx. $305 CAD
Status: Active
Worn at: Otakuthon 2018

General Comments:

Twelve Kindgoms has been a series I've really enjoyed ever since first giving it a shot back in cEGEP/early university. I've toyed around with the idea of cosplaying Youko since then, but it wasn't until I came back to the series in the past year or so that I finally made the jump. I recently went back to it to read the novels and I fell in love with the series all over again.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how this costume turned out. It's fairly comfortable and I love the swooshy-ness of it. My criticisms of it are that I need to find a better way to secure the wig to my head, and the sword scabbard isn't as solid as I would have liked.

Costume Construction:

Tops: The mauve/rose parts of the top were made out of a moleskin stretch suede. A bit of a strange fabric choice for pseudo-chinese imperial wear, but it had a nice drape to it and it had the look/sheen of what I had envisioned for it. The top zips up at the front. The grey parts were made out of a satin. I used the underside of the fabric since I found the "good" side was way too shiny. The sleeves were fully lined with it and then hand sewn down to get the "rolled" sleeve look.

The black top was made out of a black matte satin and a gold brocade I got off of AliExpress. The sleeves and collar were finished off with a satin stitch with embroidery thread.

Wrap-around skirt: The top layered skirt was made out of a black matte satin and was attached at the back with an invisible zipper. The skirt involved a bit of trial and error as I was trying to get it to drape perfectly flat over the underlayers while still having a bit of room for some volume. The detailing at the bottom was done using a satin stitch using embroidery thread.

The sash was made out of the same gold brocade that was used for the top detailing. A layer of interfacing was sewn into the middle to give it a bit more sturdiness and it was attached at the back using snaps.

Underskirts/Skirts: The white underskirt is actually more of a dress. The visible parts of the white underskirts were made out of a matte satin and the top part was made out of some cotton I had lying around. The bottom part was a circle skirt. The grey underskirt was made out of the same grey satin as the sleeves were. I think I did a 1.5 circle skirt for it that was then attached to the top.

Wig Styling:

The base wig used was a Persephone in Dark Red from Epic Cosplay Wigs. The bangs were trimmed. The wig was curled with a curling iron and then brushed out. Wefts were added to the sides to cover more of my hairline before pulling the front fibers into a ponytail. To give the ponytail a bit more poof and to give a solid base to the hair accessory, a styrofoam ball was gutted and then painted red. The remaining wefts I had were glued onto the ball and the hair accessory (made out of foam) was glued on top of that. A hair comb was glued onto the front of the styrofoam ball, which was used to secure it to the wig.


The sword was made out of a combination of eva foam, wood, and worbla. The base/blade was made out of foam with a wooden rectangle running down the middle. The foam was sanded down using a dremmel to get the bevel. The hilt was made out of a dowel cut down the middle to get the general cylindrical shape, and then covered in worbla to make the design. The loop at the end of the sword was also made out of worbla. The crossguard was made out of a combination of foam and worbla. The sword was then coated in Plasti dip to seal it and then painted.

The scabbard was made out of eva foam and worbla. The base was made out of foam. I should have double layered the base to make it more solid. The detail work (all of the gold parts) were made out of worbla. The scabbard was then coated in Plasti dip and then painted.