Japan’s plainest cosplay event steals the show this Halloween.

Halloween is a holiday that fits in well with Japan’s cosplay culture, and as we’ve seen during past celebrations centred around Tokyo’s Shibuya scramble crossing, people go all out with the costumes, turning the area into a sea of colour, sparkle… and shenanigans.

However, there is an antithesis to these bright and out-there costume displays in the city, and it’s called “Jimi Halloween“. Literally translating to “Plain Halloween“, this subdued cosplay event first started in 2014 when a group of company workers from website Daily Portal Z wanted to celebrate Halloween but were too embarrassed to dress up in full-on costumes.

Every year, Jimi Halloween has grown bigger and more popular, and this year they expanded to include remote participants due to the pandemic, so that those wary of attending the event — held this year at the Futako Tamagawa Rise shopping complex in Tokyo’s Setagawa Ward — could still join in the fun through video calls and social media.

▼ The socially distanced event took place across three time slots throughout the day on 31 October.

Finding the humour in everyday situations is at the centre of what makes Jimi Halloween so hilarious and relatable. It also acts as a looking glass into current topics, and this year the plastic shopping bag featured heavily in a number of cosplays, due to the fact that a new law charging customers 2 to 5 yen (US$0.02 – $0.05) for plastic bags with purchases was introduced in stores around the country from 1 July.

▼ Struggling to fit everything into a two-yen bag.

▼ Person who won’t buy a bag, at all costs.

▼ Person who regrets saying no to a bag at the supermarket.


Another accessory featuring heavily in this year’s cosplays was the face mask, which has become a hot topic of conversation not just in Japan but worldwide, in light of the global pandemic.

▼ Person who didn’t unfurl the folds of his face mask properly.

▼ Man secretly growing a beard under his mask.

▼ Person who who wears a mask because of a shaving blunder.

▼ Person who forgot they were wearing a mask and ate a corn dog.

If we’re talking about masks, there really has to be a mention of resellers. These unscrupulous individuals caused the face coverings to become scarce and prices to skyrocket, prompting the Japanese government to enact a law banning the resale of masks earlier this year.

▼ “Reseller Failure” shows a reseller with a 65-pack of masks coming down from 8,000 yen (US$76) to 700 yen as they became more widely available.

Other relatable topics for 2020 included:

▼ When the virtual background covers a person’s face during a Zoom call.


▼ Person who only dressed the visible part of their body for a web conference.

▼ Person who goes out shopping after hearing about a toilet paper shortage.

▼ Person who doesn’t realise the Tokyo Olympics has been postponed.

▼ Zookeeper with pandas clinging to their feet.

Other Jimi Halloween cosplays provided commentary on Japan’s working, dining and shopping cultures…

▼ Guy who won’t lose to adverse winds or adverse situations.

▼ Corporate slave emailing at the station platform.

▼ Salaryman who mistakenly put dashi broth into his glass instead of water at a tsukemen noodle restaurant .

▼ Person who uses an empty gum bottle as a pen holder.

▼ The P.E. teacher who’s always in sweats wears a suit for students’ graduation day.

▼ Uniqlo Mannequin.

▼ The solo booth curtain counter from Ichiran Ramen.

And there were some mentions of cafe and home life too.

▼ Person in quiet despair because there’s no free seat with a power point in the cafe they’ve ducked into.

▼ Your aunt, who comes and brings all sorts of stuff to give you just as you’re leaving.

▼ Long cord for a Japanese ceiling light. This ubiquitous cord, found in many traditional homes, is dangling from a rod here, with the participant dressed in black like a bunraku stagehand.

These non-human cosplays also made people laugh during Halloween.

▼ Caution: Wildlife sign.

▼ This person dressed up as the pillar from Shibuya Club Quattro.

▼ The dummy in the first aid room at a driving school.

▼ New model silicon love doll, from Japanese company Oriental Industry.


The fact that people were participating on social media from real-world settings added another layer of interest to the costumes this year.

▼ Person whose convenience store latte didn’t get all its milk.

▼ Person waiting outside the store for their family to finish shopping.

▼ A Tokyo salaryman who overslept on the train and ended up at Atami Station.

▼ Person who gets caught up in a street piano performance and then apologises for being in the way of other people’s cameras.

Some foreign participants found ways to poke fun at “gaijinstereotypes.

▼ The foreigner looking for fuzoku (adult entertainment).

▼ The overseas exchange student whose dream it was to come to Japan overdoes it and the person who came to meet him pulls away because it’s more than expected.

As it turns out, the Jimi Halloween event has become so popular it’s even spread to Taiwan, which held a “Down to Earth” Halloween event this year.

With Taiwan now taking part in “Plain Halloween,” who knows where the hilariously mundane cosplay event will turn up next? Hopefully more countries will join in the fun with their own events next year.

These clever cosplayers prove that anyone can dress up and make a memorable statement at Halloween, without the need for expensive outfits or low-cut tops and revealing, figure-hugging costumes. Although, if that’s more your style, there’s a place for that too.

Source: Twitter/地味 ハロウィン 2020
Featured image: Pakutaso
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!