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Published on 06.29.2016
Halloween is relatively new in Japan, coming into popularity along with Japan`s cosplay culture. In Tokyo Shibuya and Roppongi, popular with younger crowds in Tokyo. Halloween becomes a full on event. Seeing the floor in Shibuya crossing is impossible as people donned in fantastic costumes dance and party in the streets. Halloween has taken the major cities by force with nearly every single store stocking Halloween costume, make up or candy. However, something that is quite interesting about Halloween in Japan is that it is mainly an adult event. Children very rarely go trick or treating; schools and event clubs might hold a Halloween party for younger kids and teens but other than these the focus is on 20 plus adults going out and having a good time of the streets of the biggest city closest to them.
But what brought Halloween to the Japanese ? Well just like KFC on Christmas, Halloween was introduced to Japan through an American company. This time however it was`t a white suit wearing man from Kentucky it was a Mouse from California. That`s right the one who brought Halloween here was Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in the form of Tokyo Disneyland. In the year 1997, Tokyo Disneyland started its “Happy Halloween!” event that had their staff dress in Halloween versions of Disney Characters; then in the year 2000, the visitors joined in the idea for the “Twilight Parade” unlike our Halloween though the fun starts from early September all the way to Octobers end. From then it was set in Japanese tradition, every year the party increased in size and started to move away from Disneyland and onto the streets of the city and with such a distinguished history of fancy dress, the quick adoption of Halloween parties wasn`t too much of a surprise.
Because Halloween is quite a new concept to Japan, the Japanese people don`t give a second thought to the traditions of the original Hallows-eve of our Caucasian ancestors. To the Japanese Halloween is a complete commercial event, nothing in mind to Autumn or the harvest, as they have their own festivals for that anyway. Japanese people just like to get dressed up and let loose and so they should, it is Halloween after all.