I'm not going back on the history and traditions associated with Halloween, but it is clear that this festival has been exported far beyond the borders of the Anglo-Saxon world these last ten to fifteen years. It is also the case in Japan now celebrating October 31 just like the rest of the world. In a country where main religions are Shintoism and Buddhism, Halloween has no more value that can have a imported marketing day, as well as Christmas or Valentine's Day to Japanese people.

During october, Japan is adorned with decorations and the colors of Halloween. Stores place pumpkins and orange stuff all around their windows and their stalls. Have a look in the districts of Harajuku and Shinjuku in Tokyo, it's all around! Many events and parties also get along with the colors of the celebration. For example, Tokyo Disneyland or some Catholic churches on November 1. More and more people, not just children, like to dress up on October 31. After all, Japan remains in a strong culture of cosplay.

Halloween is more and more important each year in Japan, with a strong presence in popular culture but also, of course, to please the taste buds. Japanese cuisine may not be quite compatible with Halloween, but there are many seasonal desserts in the image of Jack O'Lantern or other pumpkin candy (or perhaps rather artificial flavors). The most impressive thing is that the big marketing machine gets under way as early as the end of September, to encourage the Japanese to buy decorations and other products bearing the image of Halloween.

However, the party also tends to irritate some Japanese, including more or less aggressive nationalists. They are attacking in particular the traditional 'Yamanote Halloween Party' meeting held every year since the late 1990s by gaijin (foreigners) in disguise, sometimes drunk in the Tokyo subway. In recent years, this event is framed by the police.

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Posted by Gael
Editor in chief
Gael is founder and responsible for Kanpai's publication. In love with Japanese culture, he travels to Japan regularly since 2003 and shares his information and tips.
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