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Cosplay & Props Convention Rules

Here are our Cosplay Prop Rules for 2016.

Prop Check

Bladed Weapons (swords, knives, axes)

  1. No live steel (peace-tied, tethered or sheathed edged weapons are not permitted)
  2. No metal blades of any types. There are NO exceptions given even if its dull or covered
  3. No sharp edges on non-metal weapons
  4. May not be swung except in designated photo areas for action shots
  5. Bladed weapons purchased in the vendor room may not be removed from the packaging within any public space


  1. All firearms must have a closed barrel with a visible orange tip (removable barrel plugs are permitted, but may only be removed for photos)
  2. All airsoft and paintball weapons must be trigger disabled and demonstrate to be unable to fire
  3. Attached scopes or laser attachments must be disabled and demonstrate to be unable to power on
  4. Removable gun clips and moveable gun chambers must be empty and stuffed
  5. Water gun barrels and attachment containers must be visibly empty
  6. Firing any type of projectile is not permitted (including water, bubbles, or silly string)
  7. San Antonio police will reserve the right for prop removal from public spaces if a gun prop is deemed to be too realistic.
  8. As has been our policy since the first San Japan, we are working to create a safe space for the expression and appreciation of Fandom. As such, open carry of real firearms are not allowed in convention controlled spaces

Other Projectiles (bows, crossbows, slingshots)

  1. Arrows and other projectiles must have all metal tips removed. Cover or sheathing will not be permitted. Plastic tip attachments will be permitted
  2. Projectiles must not be fully strung and demonstrate to be unable to fire projectiles
  3. Firing any type of projectile is not permitted (including foam)

Blunt Weapons (staves, bats, maces, wooden katanas, hammers)

  1. Cannot be composed of solid metal (metal detailing is permitted)
  2. Wooden bats are permitted but will be reviewed year-to-year
  3. Metal nails or spikes of any type must not be protruding from all blunt weapons
  4. May not be swung except in designated photo areas for action shots
  5. Props heavy enough to cause injury may be declined on a case-by-case basis

Cylindrical (staff poles, flags, banners)

  1. There are no height or size limit at this time
  2. May not be made of steel or metal
  3. PVC and plastic piping is allowed
  4. May not be swung except in designated photo areas for action shots
  5. As a courtesy, please review flag etiquette when carrying a national flag (such as the US flag)
  6. Selfie sticks are currently permitted but will be evaluated on a year-to-year basis

Tools and Miscellany (wrenches, chains, hammers, etc)

  1. Cannot be composed of solid metal (do not bring a real pipe wrench as a prop)
  2. May not be swung except in designated photo areas for action shots
  3. Props heavy enough to cause injury may be declined on a case-by-case basis

Oversized Props (buster swords, key blades, etc)

  1. Oversized props are allowed with no height or size limit
  2. Props may not be made of solid metal
  3. Display for photos must be in designated photo areas
  4. Props must be upright when walking in public spaces
  5. Props heavy enough to cause injury may be declined on a case-by-case basis

Bulky Costumes (wings, gundams, fursuits, stilts)

  1. Use a handler if your vision is significantly impaired (a handler is another attendee who will escort you around the convention)
  2. Wings must be collapsible or removable to prevent impeding crowds in tight spaces
  3. Cosplayers may be asked to remove stilts if staff believes there is a significant tripping hazard
  4. Cosplayers may be asked to remove bulky items in tight spaces or crowds
  5. Costumes must not have the ability to shoot projectiles of any type

Metal Details (spiked bracelets, armor, etc)

  1. Cannot be edged or sharp
  2. Cannot be highly reflective (mirrors such as Link’s Mirror Shield must be soaped to reduce reflectiveness and prevent possible vision impairment in crowds from sun)
  3. Metal spikes may not protrude more than 2″ (two inches) from the costume
  4. Wearable metal suits are permitted but must not have metal edges or protruding long spikes

External Accessories

  1. Powders, sand or flashsbangs for visual effects within public spaces are not allowed
  2. External speakers, especially if continually playing loud music, which are considered a public nuisance will be removed from all public spaces
  3. All props must not have the ability to use sound effects that can be mistaken for realistic weapons
  4. Cigarette props must be unlit or unable to emit vapors
  5. Real food for food props can not be used
  6. Food packaging props must not contain real food
  7. Prop bottles may only contain water or dyed water as it will be checked to ensure it does not contain illicit substances
  8. Scooters, skateboards, bikes, inline skates, and hoverboards from attendees are prohibited within all convention and public spaces.
  9. Any signage from attendees must be connected with the character being cosplay. Signs of any type unrelated to the costume/cosplay or soliciting anything, even if says “FREE HUGS”, is banned by the city of San Antonio and the Riverwalk Authority (City Code: Sec. 35-681).

Shoe Policy

  1. Shoes, slippers, sandals or lyricals must be worn at all times in public spaces
  2. Shoe removal is allowed for photos only


  1. San Japan does not provide storage or handling of Cosplay props
  2. There are no public lockers within the convention spaces
  3. Props left behind or unattended may potentially be confiscated and discarded

Basic Dress Code

  1. Please use good judgment and common sense in general. This is a family friendly convention. Keep all costumes sensible and at a rating acceptable in public. There will be children present.
  2. No costume is no costume! If you are not clothed properly, you will be asked to change. This includes having a shirt and shoes at all times. We are using public spaces we rent so the local laws are in effect. No shirt, no shoes, no service. For costumes which a character is typically shirt-less, all MALE costumes may remove their shirt for photos but must put the shirt back on when walking in public spaces.
  3. Please make sure your costume uses non-see through material over the private body parts. Once again remember there will be children present.
  4. No profanity displayed on the clothing or costume.
  5. Those who abuse this policy will be subject to removal from the convention without refund from the convention or the Hotel.
  6. Remember you will also be walking through public areas such as the River walk, Rivercenter Mall, and non-convention hotel spaces. How you act and represent yourself will reflect upon the convention as well.
  7. For potential safety issues you would like to bring up, please use our contact form.


Need to know if X costume will be okay? Use this as a visual reference.


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The San Japan website should be fully updated by 11/30/16 AT 11:30PM CST with most of the 2017 convention information. Hotel reservation links will be posted when they're ready (To Be Determined). 2017 registration is now open.