Shirumi: Exploring the World of Hijabi Cosplay

Exploring the art of hijabi cosplay, FATIN HUMAIRA delves into the world of Shirumi, a local hijabi cosplayer, who finds the balance between hobby and modesty.



Fatin Humaira
Events Manager

Hype Issue #57

Published on
July 31, 2023

Shirumi, also nicknamed Mimi, is a Singaporean hijabi cosplayer known for her creative and modest cosplay looks. With an Instagram following of over two thousand followers, Shirumi is carving her identity in the cosplay community.

Shirumi cosplaying as Yae Miko (Operator Version) from Genshin Impact. Photo taken from @shirumimi on Instagram.

Cosplay, a popular hobby among fans of animated and fictional characters, has been around for decades, only gaining popularity over the years. It continues to be a hot topic in recent times as cosplay events are increasingly seen worldwide, including in Singapore. 

There are many reasons why people get into cosplay, some starting early while others only find an interest in it later on. For Shirumi, it was something more personal – an ode to her childhood. 

“I started cosplaying to fulfil my inner child’s dream of dressing up as my favourite characters. I also found comfort in lots of characters and seeing them come to life makes me feel content,” Shirumi shared.

She revealed some of her favourite childhood anime titles such as Pretty Cure and Cardcaptor Sakura. Shirumi is also an avid player of anime-themed games like Ensemble Stars and Genshin Impact. However, the catalyst for her cosplay journey was seeing her friend enjoy her time at cosplay events while cosplaying various characters, from games, cartoons, anime, and even movies.

Shirumi’s first-ever cosplay – Yunjin from Genshin Impact. Photo courtesy of Shirumi.

After discovering the term ‘hijab-styling’ in the cosplay world nine years ago, she bought her first-ever cosplay outfit – a secondhand piece from Carousell. It was then she opened the gates into a new realm where she was able to showcase her creativity.

Shirumi lists tips for keeping her outfits modest; buying costumes a size bigger, avoiding tight clothing, wearing innerwear, and most importantly, hijab-styling. The centrepiece of her modesty techniques lies in hijab-styling, in which she meticulously replicates the character’s hairstyle using her hijab as accurately as possible to mimic the character’s original design.

Shirumi cosplaying as Wanderer/Scaramouche from Genshin Impact. Photo taken from @shirumimi on Instagram.

Adhering to her principles as a hijabi cosplayer, Shirumi values the original image and design of the characters and does not cosplay characters whom she is unable to emulate accurately.

She shared one of her fundamental principles when cosplaying: “I refrain from cosplaying characters who are viewed in an inappropriate manner or [those] wearing revealing clothes as it is hard to cover up and portray the image of the character.” 

In 2022, Shirumi was featured on Twitter by a photographer/journalist from Japan working with Anime Festival Asia (AFA). Photo courtesy of Shirumi.

However, Shirumi’s journey as a hijabi cosplayer has been a blend of unforgettable experiences and personal growth. In the pursuit of finding a balance between her passion and her beliefs, she has experienced different aspects of being a hijabi cosplayer – from making unique memories with new friends to struggling to be accepted for her identity.

“I believe that over time, people will accept the idea of hijabi cosplay. As there are more hijabi cosplayers now, others are starting to like how we are able to cover up yet still look like the character,” Shirumi expressed when asked about the inclusivity of hijabis in the cosplay community.

Shirumi with other hijabi cosplayers at Anime Festival Asia (AFA) 2022. Photo courtesy of Shirumi.

Beyond her captivating cosplay looks, Shirumi showcases her ingenuity by making her own costumes and ideating concepts to complement the characters. She mentioned other ways of creating a character’s hair besides using the hijab such as wool, foam, and even paper!

“Portraying yourself as a character in your own way is what makes each cosplayer a unique individual,” Shirumi said.

Shirumi’s first-ever handmade costume, cosplaying as Columbima from Genshin Impact. Photo courtesy of Shirumi.

The first-ever event Shirumi attended was Arc Market 2022 at Singapore Expo. Since last year, she has attended over four events. Attending such events has been instrumental in her growth as a cosplayer. When asked about her most memorable experiences attending cosplay events, she revealed that each event holds a special place in her heart. 

She finds immense joy in interacting with her favourite cosplayers, collaborating with photographers, and above all, being part of a vibrant community. While Shirumi mentioned stepping into character and getting public attention may be nerve-wrecking, she embraces it as an opportunity to break out of her comfort zone and cultivate unwavering confidence. 

Shirumi with fellow cosplayers Shoko (left) and Hakao (right) at Arc Market 2022. Photo courtesy of Shirumi.

In the face of opinions and expectations, Shirumi embraces optimism, she shared a positive message: “I don’t care about what others think as this is my hobby. As long as I’m able to cover up properly, I’m all good! Sometimes, we should not follow others’ expectations as it’ll just make anything enjoyable feel stressful.”