Part 8: Wrap-up
The Halloween items are off the shelves in the stores in Kanazawa and the advertisements to pre-order Christmas cakes and osechi New Year’s meals are gaining ground on the displays of local stores. I’m a bit sad to see Halloween go, though I’m sure my friends who still have Halloween lessons to teach and Halloween events from which to recover are ready to move on. I went to a costume party at a bar over the weekend but spent a quiet Halloween night at home, watching Rifftrax of scary movies and eating the last Reese’s peanut-butter “pumpkin” from the US.
I love that Japan has embraced Halloween more and more, even if it’s largely for seasonal marketing. I do miss going out to bars in the US on Halloween and seeing all the cool costumes with everyone dressed up, but I don’t miss the offensive costumes sold in stores like Spirit Halloween. I make or assemble all my costumes in Japan (hooray for recycle shops), and even though I did that in the US, too, it’s nice not to feel like my other option is cheap-looking “sexy” versions of male costumes if I didn’t have the time or the will to make up something. This isn’t to say that people don’t buy or make offensive costumes here or that no one does “sexy” costumes, but I feel like those who market Halloween in Japan want to sell me adorable cakes and candy (and maybe some jewelry) instead of costumes that insult my intelligence and attempt to reduce people to objects.*
If you’ll allow me to descend from my soapbox–
If you’re looking for more about Halloween in Japan, here’s a list of links I found interesting.
- Tandung, Monica. “Halloween parades across Japan.” (28 Oct. 2011)
- Simone, Gianni. “Death, mystery and well-endowed tanuki: a tour of terrifying Tokyo.” (25 Oct. 2011)
- Matsutani, Minoru. “Halloween treats retailers’ new trick.” (30 Oct. 2009).
- Hama, Noriko. “Halloween in Japan: a commercial break from global nightmare.” (3 Nov. 2008)
Instead of linking all the Halloween posts on Just Bento, here’s a collection of them already together in one post: “Fun Link(s) Friday: Halloween Bento.” Shinpai Deshou [What Can I Do with a B.A. in Japanese Studies?].
Hokuriku Expat Kitchen
- Halloween in Japan?! Take 1
- Halloween in Japan?! Take 2: Jack-O-Lantern Soup – in which Cheruko proves me wrong about carving kabocha.
I’ve received a request to document Christmas in Kanazawa this year. What do you think, readers?
*One can, of course, have a costume that emphasizes one’s attractive assets without being insulting or offensive. I mean mostly things like Pocahottie and “female prisoner” when I talk about the mass-marketed, cheaply made, and often mind-blowingly awkward costumes.
More “Documenting Halloween in Japan”