Happy October everyone. Ok, I’ll be straight with you: I’m writing this in September. Late September but still September. I just got excited and couldn’t wait to dive into the spookmonth posts!
There are two things that I have grown to learn about Halloween. First is that most people who celebrated it, really like Halloween. If it’s not their favourite holiday, it’s way up there. It’s just so fun. Second is that most people do not celebrate it. Or did not until recently. Not because of some moral qualms or anything but Halloween is really a rather local tradition all things considered. It’s just that it’s so big in these parts that it’s easy to forget that.
This said, the holiday has slowly started to infiltrate most parts of the world. It’s a celebration of dressing up any way you want and eating candy, of course other people are going to want in on that. However, as it makes its way across the globe, every country lends it a bit of regional spice.
There was never really one true Halloween. I guess pumpkins and childhood monsters are the closest thing but really if you want to dress up as a sweet princess and turn your house into a pink castle, that’s Halloween too. It’s sort of fast and loose as far as actual standards go which means it’s the perfect holiday to adapt to local preferences.
Halloween is still not that prevalent in Japan. I’ve decided that this is why we don’t get so many anime Halloween episodes. (Putting a top 5 together was a bit of a challenge). But the celebration did make it all the way very to the other side of the world and it’s slowly gaining in popularity. However, it may not be exactly the celebration you know.
From what I gather, Halloween reached mainstream consciousness in Japan a bit less than 20 years ago thanks to that undisputed Herald of monsters and doom: Disney! Disney is very popular in Japan so when Disneyland Japan hosted the first Halloween celebration in the park, people took notice!
A country with such an unabashed love of cosplay was made for a dress up holiday and it seems the Japanese took to it exactly in that sense. The only real Halloween tradition in Japan are the costumes and they can be just about anything. It’s as much a convention masquerade as a trick or treat evening. Mostly cause there’s no trick or treating. Honestly that part was always a little weird when you really think about it. Just buy good candy and keep it, saves everyone the trouble and you don’t end up trying to figure out what to do with all the raisin boxes.
So the it seems the Japanese people dress up then celebrate. How? In the awesomeness way possible because Japan! From what I read one of the hottest spots is trains. As in subways. Public transportation! How cool is that? Trick question it is innumerably cool! Imagine getting your awesome costume on, walking out the door to catch the bus and BAM! Party! No waiting, no cover charge, you are about to make some exquisitely dressed new friends and see the city at the same time!
If for some reason overcrowded confined spaces aren’t your thing, that’s fine, we got you covered there too with a wide variety of Street side events, none of which involve bothering strangers at home during dinner. You could take part in a Zombie crawl for instance or how about a cosplay flash mob? I think a combination of the two might be your best bet. Heck, if you are a traditionalist, there’s even just plain old Street parties you can join to mingle with fellow anime enthusiasts.
I am not a sociable person but this sounds like a blast to me. Just dress up, hop out for a street party, stay 15 minutes to absorb the festive vibes, grab a coffee and go home. Celebration accomplished and you didn’t have to pretend to care about some distant acquaintance’s new one man play or something. Does that sound like a suspiciously specific example? Pure coincidence I swear. All my distant acquaintances have very interesting one man plays!
Of course you can also go back to the place that started it all. No not the Hellsmouth of unspeakable horror. I mean Disney! Honestly I have nothing against Disney at all. I have no idea why I keep picking on it.
I think I read somewhere that Japan loves theme parks. We certainly see them disproportionately often in anime. I think I only see them in horror movies otherwise. Which brings us smoothly back to Halloween!
Ever since that first obviously quite successful event, Disneyland Japan continues it’s yearly Halloween bash where you can celebrate in style. Or if that’s not your thing, most amusement parks put on some type of special celebration for the occasion. Even Sanrio Pitino world has what I assume is fluffy adorable horror to offer!
Did I make you want to buy a plane ticket for the 31st? I know I want one. I you have any Halloween plans this year?