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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween in Japan’

Would you ever wish someone a “lovely Halloween”? I kept seeing this phrase pop up in Halloween goods this year along with the more standard “Happy Halloween.” I think “lovely Halloween” may go the way of “heartful” (ハートフル), which is wasei Eigo (Japanese-created “English”) used to mean heart-warming, warm-hearted, or caring.*

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Happy Halloween, everyone! Here are a variety of links from across the web to get you in the holiday spirit!

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What have we learned about Halloween in Japan this year?

Kanazawa Forus

Although Halloween seems to be mainly marketed through food in the broader consumer world, Halloween decorations in retailers and for home use seem to be growing in popularity and availability.

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Halloween seems to be the new imported-holiday darling of the ’10s. As I wrote last year, businesses’ creating and selling Halloween-themed goods and services has exploded in the last 5 years, and yet, this isn’t the Halloween I celebrated as a child.

The most popular image from my coverage of Halloween 2011.

A comparison to Japanese Christmas may be helpful in understanding how imported holidays function. (more…)

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When it comes to holidays, being an expat in Japan is a mixed bag. Even though I miss my family and friends, I’m quite content to sit out on the insanity of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Halloween, however, is the holiday I miss the most. I first came to Japan in 2005, and I remember that, other than the foreign exchange students, Baskin Robbins, and some foreigner-bars in Osaka, no one really celebrated Halloween. (This may have been different in Tokyo, of course, given the large number of expats living there.)

Baskin Robbins, Hirakata-shi, 2005

Last year, I was shocked to see young Japanese people in Kanazawa dressed up and out at the bars on Halloween weekend. This year, it seems like businesses have really latched onto Halloween as a seasonal/marketing ploy–my coworkers and friends have also expressed their shock that Halloween is booming here.

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