12 October, 2017

Strange orange and black season

This is a strange season for us, in Japan. No, not autumn (or "Fall" as I keep hearing), but Halloween. It wasn't a part of my growing up years and is not a part of our family's traditions. Until recently it wasn't a part of Japan's traditions either. But in the last few years it has appeared everywhere in the shops.

But there is a strange mixing in of the American Thanksgiving traditions too. Yesterday I saw two traditional style pumpkins with the sign (in English) inviting people to buy them and carve them themselves.

A couple of weeks ago we went to biggest local shopping centre for David's birthday and found a couple of big displays. One was a purple and orange Halloween balloon sculpture about three metres high that was stylised as a photo booth (with costumes provided). Just near it was another that included these fake pumpkins. Strangely, they also have Bible verses on them.

And yesterday at a grocery story I came across "Herbs for Halloween". They look like baby spinach. I haven't heard of Halloween being associated with herbs or salad before!

Japanese love seasonal celebrations, even if they don't understand what the season means. December will be full of Christmas decorations, even though few people actually know what it means or celebrate it personally. Easter is also starting to show up in shops. So it doesn't surprise me that Halloween has become big here, at least in the shops. I haven't heard of "Trick or Treat" becoming popular and this post predicts that it will remain an adult-only, commercial event.

Here is a video from 2014 at a popular spot for big street parties (Shibuya crossing):

Japanese also have a tradition of celebrating ghost stories, more so than I've seen in Australia. This page lists ten famous Japanese ghost stories. 

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