Jiraiya is an accomplished ninja and one of the three Legendary Sannin along with Orochimaru and Lady Tsunade, so-called for their exploits during the Second Shinobi War. Light-hearted and gregarious, Jiraiya routinely makes jokes at his own expense, riles up others for laughs, and never misses an opportunity to be flashy and dramatic, even in combat. Though known for his self-proclaimed exploits with women, he harbors a life-long, serious, and unrequited love for Tsunade.
Jiraiya has long been one of my favorite characters and this costume is not just one of my oldest but one of my most frequently worn; I've probably cosplayed Jiraiya more than any other character. The basis of Jiraiya's outfit is a standard gi, and I believe I used the Simplicity 8318 pattern. The red jacket was self-patterned but was originally relatively shapeless and unlined; when I remade this in 2020 it was fully lined and I re-imagined the seams using a Japanese traditional clothing book we had brought home from Kyoto. I also used interfacing to stiffen the shoulders and did cleaner appliques for the yellow circles with satin-stitched edging. I also took the opportunity to add hidden pockets to the interior. The belt is reinforced with interfacing and decoratively top stitched to give it grooved texture. The arm and leg fishnets are store bought; the hand armor is painted EVA foam and is attached to the end of the fishnet sleeves.
Jiraiya headbands were not easy to come by at the time; I made mine using Sculpy backed wtih Wonderflex and riveted to a fabric headband. The wig has been an ongoing project since 2007 and has gone through many reiterations; it is currently a mashup of old wigs stitched together and teased out many times, usually redone each time the costume is worn. The shoes I'm especially proud of; I made them out of oak and stained them red. I had to guess the porportions and they turned out to be very comfortable to walk in. They make a delightfully loud clomping sound on hard surfaces, and I enjoy telling con goers, “I’m a stealthy ninja!” when they turn to find the source of the racket. Most recently I added a stuffed toad prop, which was store bought but I added some black felt around its eyes to give it a more anime style look.