A Mechagodzilla monster and Tsukino Usagi, the main superheroine in the animated "Sailor Moon" series, were among 26 characters featured at what is thought to be the first-ever exclusively-cardboard cosplay festival in Aomori, Japan.

Along with the first version of Mechagodzilla, Mazinger Z and Mobile Suit Gundam also inspired at what organizers said was the first cosplay event in Japan featuring only costumes made from cardboard.

The contest was organized by the Aomori prefectural government and local cardboard art aficionados who believe an event based around the use of the ubiquitous packaging material can appeal to a wide range of people, across the generations.

The grand prize went to a Godzilla created by Ryushiro Okada, a 13-year-old member of the Minami Junior High School art club in the northeastern city.

"I never dreamed of winning the top prize," he said, clearly excited at the prospect of having beaten other "danborian" cosplayers. The word danborian comes from "danboru," Japanese for cardboard.

Contest judge Asako Kitamura, 36, a creator of Nebuta giant floats, one of the main feature of a high-profile local summer festival in the city, said she hopes the cardboard event will "enliven the paper-oriented artistic culture in Aomori."