Thursday, October 7, 2010

Halloween in Japan

It's almost Halloween time and, as usual, things are hectic at my school. I'm trying to make decorations and games for the annual party, since there isn't much variety available compared to, say, in Target or WalMart. And this year, I'm planning on ramping up the school English party as well, and have even gotten some JHS kids to help me run it.

When my oldest daughter was 3, we introduced our neighbors to Halloween and its fun. With three other families, we dressed the kids up and had them 'trick or treat' at each others houses, then brought them here to eat some of their spoils and play some games. These parties have continued to grow over the last 12 years (12 families last year), and we've watched Halloween slowly approach the mainstream around us. It's still nothing like in the States, but it's even marked on calendars now!

Good luck finding good, cheap decorations, though. The Japanese love monsters and ghosts (look at Godzilla and 'The Ring'), but they don't have home or neighborhood parties very often, the homes are too small. And while nowadays there is a pretty good selection on the internet from Japanese vendors, the monsters are often different (this morning one of my students asked me why mummies are scary). Being specialty items, the prices are also high. I also like to use pinatas, but they're pretty ridiculous, and actually are made too well. By the time the kids managed to break open the pinata 2 years ago, most of the candy was sugar dust, so this year I'm going to make my own using balloons and papier mache.

I'll post pictures after the party, show you some of the costumes. This is the land of cosplay, remember, so sometimes the kids (or their parents, actually) go all out and make fantastic costumes, others just grab a garbage bag and colored markers. Some of the kids even dress as ninjas, go figure!


  1. Hey! Believe it or not I stumbled upon your blog while searching for images of squat toilets...but I ended up sticking around and reading!

    I hope to come back and see pictures from halloween!

  2. Well, thank you! I've got the pics loaded onto my computer, now I just need to resize and compress. Soon, I promise!


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