A recent Ameba News Japanese blog post asked a 37-year old American woman her thoughts on Halloween in Japan, and based on her answer you’d think Halloween in Japan was somehow expressly responsible for all the unhappiness in her life.

The woman asked the blog author, “Why do adults in Japan get drunk together and wear costumes on Halloween? Don’t they know it’s a holiday for kids?”

Her response seemed to be dripping with condescension, which inspired us to dig into just what Halloween is about in Japan and how it differs from the US, and if our research is any indicator, the holiday has really come into its own out here over the past few years.

First of all, we think the woman is mistaken in saying that Halloween is a kid’s holiday in America. While it’s true that October 31, the “official” Halloween, is mostly bored parents dragging their kids along from house to house, all the while dreading the inevitable sugar-high their kids will be experiencing for a solid month after, adults and college students use the holiday as an excuse to dress in all manner of funny, sexy and scary costumes and go wild.

But, many communities in Japan are starting to get into the kid-friendly action too. This year featured a Halloween parade in Kawasaki with plenty of kids dressing up and enjoying candy, for instance, and Minato Ward in Tokyo has sponsored a kid-centric “Halloween Street” with music and trick-or-treating for a few years now.

▼ Japanese children trick-or-treating.


Ameba News’ subject also expressed befuddlement at why Japanese people don’t gather as adults the weekend before and party, which is odd because that’s… exactly what happens.

In fact, Halloween is fast becoming one of the most popular imported holidays in Japan, which makes almost perfect sense; as the home of cosplay, the Japanese are well acclimated to the idea of dressing up in silly/cool/scary costumes and the holiday as is celebrated in Western countries nowadays is sufficiently removed from religious or pagan connotations to not creep out the overwhelmingly secular Japanese.

Anyway, have a safe Halloween and let us know your impressions of Halloween in Japan in the comments below!

▼ Of course, some Japanese Halloween traditions remain strictly Japanese.


Source: Ameba News
Photos: Wikimedia Commons (Title, inset 1, inset 2, inset 3)