Halloween in Japan - Eight Crazy Frights
Halloween has only recently been embraced by people in Japan but celebrate it they do, wholeheartedly. What's more, fun-loving Japanese have taken the pumpkin and are running with it. Here are eight eerie examples...
1) Cosplay Goes Wild. Wilder. Wildest
Halloween often encourages Japanese partiers, paraphrasing Spinal Tap, to turn up the volume to 11. Take Cosplay (costume play), for example. Cosplayers love to dress up and a Halloween parade provides a great opportunity to show off their best - or in this case, breast. (Halloween image via Trendhunter)
2) Food Fit for a Zombie
Tired of Mom's horrible school lunches? No? Try this creepy yet creative Bento lunch box made for some poor kid who probably has nightmares of this day, to this day. More BRAAAIIINS, please! See this and other terribly tasty Halloween Bento boxes at Rinkya Blog. (Halloween image via Bronson Chang)
3) Death and a Salesman
Japanese society has always been amenable to taking things from outside the country and filtering them through their culture, sometimes with unusual and unexpected results. Halloween is no different, and if using holiday images will sell more products, orange ya glad? (Halloween image via Japan Q & A)
4) Kick or Treat?
What do Halloween and footwear have in common? Nothing really... but that didn't stop Vans from designing a couple of special-edition Halloween shoes especially for the Japanese market last year. Offered in Old Skool and Sk8-Hi styles, the shoes feature seasonal colors, a tiny pumpkin on the tag, and the phrase "Trick or Treat?" printed on the outer sole. (Halloween image via High Snobiety)
5) Pumpkin - The Other Orange Food
There's not much you can do to give snacks the Halloween touch... I mean, pumpkin makes a decent pie but not much else, right? Wrong - in Japan, pumpkin is a popular flavor. Who'd have thought the gourd could go gourmet? The clincher came when Nestle Japan introduced pumpkin flavored Kit Kat bars. (Halloween image via The Scent of Green Bananas)
6) Death By a Thousand Paper Cuts
Origami is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding, and the Paper Forest blog provides several links to some very cool Halloween origami sites and tutorials. One of the best is Origami Club, where you'll find both diagrams and animations showing how you can make your own 'orrible 'alloween origami effects. The dozen themes are rated for difficulty and include, besides the usual skull, jack-o-lantern and bat, a ninja and... a church. (Halloween image via Origami Club)
7) Infurnal Franken-Felines
Pets are adored in Japan; some say over-adored. Cats especially - this is the home of Hello Kitty after all. Halloween gives over-indulgent pet owners one more excuse to lavish their pets with love, though from the look of this costumed kitty it may be unrequited. (Halloween image via Hindustan Times)
8) Cowboys & Idiots
Costumes... yeah, I know you were waiting for them. There are perhaps no costumes more bizarre than Japanese ones, and they really deserve their own article. If I have to show one Japanese Halloween costume, it would be this ridiculous cowboy suit that's compelling the late John Wayne to spin in his grave at 5000 rpm. As for the Caucasian model, I'm assuming every Japanese guy who was asked to wear this thing told them where to stick it. (Halloween image via Avocadia)
And that wraps up Halloween in Japan - no tricks but a few treats. Have a Happy Halloween, and as a sign I once saw in Tokyo's Narita Airport read, "Enjoy Your Fright!"
J A P A N O R A M A