Halloween's impact not as big as some media make it out to be


Since early September, Jack O'Lanterns, witches on brooms and other Halloween motifs have been sprouting up all over Japan. But the amount of outlays for Halloween-related activities, according to the Nikkei Marketing Journal (Oct 26), is low, perhaps even surprisingly so.

Using the internet survey firm Macromil, the thrice-weekly newspaper covering retailing and distribution last August surveyed 2,000 people between the ages of 15 and 69 years, asking them about plans to participate in parties, parades and other Halloween-related revelry. Those who gave positive responses only came to 12%, with 75% saying they had no plans, and another 13% replying that they were uncertain.

The 235 people who gave positive replies were then asked where they expected their Halloween activities to be held. With multiple answers accepted, an overwhelming 65% gave "at home," followed by "at a friend's home," (with 14%); "on the street" (12%); and "at a theme park" (11%). As far as the particulars, 42% said they would dress up in a costume; 36% said they would indulge in sweets or special foods; and 35% planned to purchase Halloween-related products. Only 26% said they would follow the American practice of handing out sweets to trick or treaters.

The survey also queried subjects on what types of products and services they intended to purchase. In descending order, sweets headed the list with 69%, followed by costumes (49%) and ornaments and decorations (46%).

Based on survey responses, the average outlay per person was expected to come to only 1,980 yen. In contrast, the greatest outlays for seasonal events were at the New Year, with an average of 14,235 yen; Christmas, with 9,934 yen; Valentine's Day, at 2,698 yen, and White Day (March 14), at 2,066 yen.

Not all Japanese can be described as receptive to the idea of a festival on Oct 31, but an average of 57% of the survey subjects of all ages voiced their approval. Broken down by age segment, it's easy to see that the younger groups have the least resistance, with a full 81% of those in their teens giving thumbs up to Halloween. The figure declined progressively with age, falling to 47% of respondents in their 50s and 39% of those in their 60s.

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The results of the survey are basically meaningless without a clear geographic context. Halloween remains relatively 'new' to Japan and celebration of it started, and remains localised in, built up areas with western/US connections. It's not so hard to avoid Halloween completely once you're away from such places.

if this is a nationwide survey, the conclusion being drawn is very misleading.

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Halloween means day for the dead. I just wondered, why people have so much time to waste ???.

Don't anyone think , it is better to save someone or some animals or anything with their time & money ???.

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What surprises me is that the lads spend less on white day than the ladies on valentines day. Come on guys pick up your game!

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The fad is wearing off for many. The ridiculous crowds in Shibuya are turning many away. It has s not a Halloween festival at all. It is a cos-play festival and an excuse to practice escapism. The most relevant comment I have read in regards to this Halloween farce in Japan is, “I used to dress up for Halloween - when I was 12.” I hint that sums it unite well.

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