Halloween or All Hollow’s Eve is celebrated all around the globe in different ways. Some places, children dress up in scary costumes and go trick ‘n treating, or some even have elaborate events like Halloween dress-up parties for adults. It also is celebrated among certain religions as a time of dedication to remember and out of respect for the dead, including saints, martyrs and faithfully departed believers or to some, as a day to celebrate those who have died and to be thankful that they were in our lives. (See this link for more information on the roots of Halloween http://goo.gl/KToB )
But that covers the Western world mostly, and for the curious and adventurous, we have decided to share more on how it is celebrated in Japan.
In Japan Halloween is not celebrated as dark as it is in the Western World, you can say it is more kawaii, as a matter of fact. Their scary holiday is in August when they celebrate the Obon holidays. See our Obon article here: http://goo.gl/JgrL3G
It is more about obake (a kawaii Japanese term for a ghost) than Yurei (scary ghost), so the word Yurei is almost never used in Halloween festivals in Japan, rather obake. (See this link to learn more about the differences between the two words http://goo.gl/MT4st9).
In Japan, around the months of September and October, decorations go up in shopping malls and stores and some candy makers even produce special Halloween-only themed versions of their products.
There are quite a few Halloween events in Japan like the Kawasaki Halloween Parade in the Kanagawa Prefecture outside Tokyo. There are cosplay events, as well as a film festival held at this event and contests with cool prizes. (Read here about more exciting Halloween festivals in Japan http://goo.gl/rYMKq6)
Here are a few videos about Halloween in Japan:
A video of Halloween in Roppongi, Tokyo….
(some nice costumes and a very scary nurse with an axe….)
Footage of a Halloween themed Japanese bakery -Warning: watching this video WILL make you hungry