Do you like Halloween?
If you live and work in Japan, you probably know that Halloween, like many popular western holidays, became a new tradition in Japan. Halloween wasn’t celebrated in Japan until recent years, the popularity of Halloween in Japan has exploded in the last decade. Japan has adopted many American Halloween traditions to its culture. Western-style Halloween decorations such as jack-o’-lanterns can be seen in many shops, and places such as Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan. Restaurants and shopping malls make decorations with Halloween images, pumpkins. Stores offer Halloween costumes, special Halloween editions of some products, Halloween candies and souvenirs in spooky style. Halloween promotions, parties, and costumes appear are everywhere in Tokyo from September 1st.
Trick-or-treat events, Halloween costume parties usually start from the second week of October. The biggest events take place in Shibuya and Roppongi.
The atmosphere is festive, and young people put a lot of efforts and money to their Halloween looks. Cosplay (known as “kosupure” in Japanese) has been popular among Japanese teenagers for a while. Costume play usually means masquerade in Japan. People dress up as n anime/movie/game characters, sometimes their looks are very realistic. That’s why Halloween is one more opportunity for Japanese costume fans to dress up as their favorite hero. Among with Japanese cosplay fans, there are thousands of foreigners who also dress up for Halloween.
Big parades celebrating Halloween are popular in different parts of Japan. The Kawasaki Halloween Parade is held every year in Kanagawa Prefecture. There is another parade called Yamate Seuiyoukan Halloween Walk which usually takes place Kawasaki. The event includes face painting, Halloween workshops, and a lot of sweets.
Japan also has its own unique holiday that has been made for the honor the dead. This celebration called the Bon festival (“Obon” in Japanese) which takes place in August. Bon festival is a Buddhist custom which has over 500 years old history. Floating lanterns on the rivers, come from the ancient tradition which symbolize returning of spirits to the land of the dead.
Work in Japan and enjoy Halloween!