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31st Jul 2023

Man who spent £19,000 to become a wolf no longer feels human

Steve Hopkins

‘When I look in the mirror, I see a wolf, and that is very moving’

A Japanese man who spent £19,000 on a wolf costume says he feels “no longer human” when he pulls on the life-like suit.

Toru Ueda has unmasked himself as the owner of the custom-made grey and white predator suit and told how – rather than scaring his neighbours – he likes to slip it on to relax at home and forget his troubles.

The 32-year-old highway engineer from Tokyo told The Times he doesn’t wear the outfit to fancy dress parties, or for cosplay, preferring to enjoy it in private.

“When I wear my costume I feel I’m no longer human,” Ueda told The Times.

“I’m free of human relationships. All kinds of troubles, related to work and other things – I can forget about them.”

Ueda commissioned the costume from Zeppet, a specialist production and modelling company that usually provides costumes and figures for TV commercials and films. It took the company 50 days to make.

Ueda said it was a powerful experience to pull on the suit.

“When I look in the mirror, I see a wolf, and that is very moving,” Ueda said.

“I’m not a werewolf – that’s a kind of monster, and I am not a monster.”

Before outing himself as the wolf, Ueda told Zeppet’s website: “Because of my love for animals since childhood and some realistic animal suits appearing on TV, I dreamed of being one someday.

“At the final fitting, I was amazed at my transformed self in the mirror. It was a moment when my dream came true.”

Ueda added: “My order to ‘look like a real wolf walking on hind legs’ was difficult – to say the least – but the complete suit looked exactly like what I imagined.’

“Not only did the specs perfectly cover all of my preferences, but the ventilation slit for the wearer’s comfort and the devices that let the wearer put it on without help showed me that the designers paid close attention to the wearer’s comfort.”

Ueda wanted his wolf costume to be as realistic as possible, and the Zeppet team met with him three times and exchanged over 40 emails with him to make it happen.

Zeppet, the Mail reported, said it has seen an increase in customers commissioning life-like suits and had more than 50 people request similar suits to Ueda for personal use.

The company also makes “pet clones” for customers wanting a reproduction of their deceased pets.

Before outing himself as the wolf, Ueda has been making headlines for his dog costume. He spent £12,000 to look like a rough collie and has been posting videos on YouTube doing doggie things – like going to the park.

Related links:

Man who spent £12k to become a dog terrifies real dogs in the street

Man who spent more than £12,000 to become a dog is worried his friends might think he’s ‘weird’

Man who spent £12,500 to become a dog has now bought himself a huge cage

Japanese man spends £12,480 to look like a border collie – and it kind of works