The Halloween street party in Tokyo's Shibuya district draws thousands of revelers each year. Photo: GaijinPot
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Halloween revelry in Japan to take new forms during pandemic

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"Please do not come for Halloween this year,"  wouldn't work. You're underestimating the number of people with no common sense. You will need to keep people out by force.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

I am embarrassed Japanese people jump to foreign traditional events without thoughts. What are we?

-7 ( +18 / -25 )

Partying crowds have higher transmission risk. They also don't necessarily contribute a lot to local businesses. I'd suggest downsizing or cordoning off potentially affected places

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Even with Shibuya's Mayor advice, people will go. Specially people who are against wearing masks. IDK why Japanese people like Halloween, since it's a foreign culture. But only some will refrain to go there.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

I am embarrassed Japanese people jump to foreign traditional events without thoughts. What are we?

No クリスマスケーキ for you this year.

23 ( +29 / -6 )

"Halloween originates from the practice of expelling evil spirits. We want our wish of expelling the coronavirus to be granted by using the possibility of people connecting online from home," said Yohei Yatabe, who manages the project.

Fail! No it doesn’t! It’s a pagan ritual from 2000 years ago to celebrate the harvest after summer. All the goolish whatnot was adopted from the Mexican Day of the Dead.

Regardless of their pleas Shibuya will still be packed with zombies for the whole week of Halloween.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

IDK why Japanese people like Halloween, since it's a foreign culture. 

I am embarrassed Japanese people jump to foreign traditional events without thoughts. What are we?

Yeah, why do they like Halloween, Christmas parties, presents and cake, Western-style weddings and dresses, western clothing ...even foreign food and drinks! How dare Japanese people, its all foreign culture!

24 ( +26 / -2 )

With all the negative connotations of Halloween . . . Japan should consider not celebrating Halloween this year or even after the COVID pandemic . . . .

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

the more celebration the better in my book. Any excuse to crack open the scotch.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Yeah, why do they like Halloween, Christmas parties, presents and cake, Western-style weddings and dresses, western clothing ...even foreign food and drinks! How dare Japanese people, its all foreign culture!

Had a coworker about 15 years ago who had a side gig playing a priest and marrying Japanese people in a church western style. The couples ALL insisted on having a WHITE priest marrying them and balked when an actual Filipino ordained minister was once brought in. Western ideas are popular here. But that doesn't mean the erosion of Japanese culture any more than Japanese Chinese and other cultures erode western cultures. they enrich them. Different cultures can exist side by side in ANY country and can contribute and enrich that culture.

Having said that, the halloween party this year should be cancelled. No public mass gatherings as they are super spreader events.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

"Please do not come for Halloween this year," wouldn't work. You're underestimating the number of people with no common sense. You will need to keep people out by force."

Maybe in Europe, but not in Japan. Just look who is wearing masks and who is not masks.

-16 ( +1 / -17 )

I am embarrassed Japanese people jump to foreign traditional events without thoughts. What are we?

Embarrassed ? Why ?

Actually I think Shibuya gives Halloween unique twist.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

vanityofvanitiesToday  07:03 am JST

I am embarrassed Japanese people jump to foreign traditional events without thoughts. What are we?

Not a clue as to what you are but maybe it's time to cancel the Olympics, Paralympics, Koshien, Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, eating Western food, etc so give back tempura to its rightful owner and undo a whole host of other things that should save you from being so embarrassed. Although it's not a traditional event, I think a good start might be to stop writing about Western events on English web sites in romaji.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Nihonview....

Maybe in Europe, but not in Japan. Just look who is wearing masks and who is not masks.

I work in a convenient store in Tokyo. There are many Japanese who don’t wear masks. Especially old men and the young.... they have it hanging on one ear. So give me a break!

I hope they will stay home and have an online party but ....

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I am embarrassed Japanese people jump to foreign traditional events without thoughts. What are we?

So are you embarrassed when you get Valentines chocolate? Or how about sharing the KFC and cake at Christmas?

Rather hypocritical comment if you ask me. Halloween is the ONE even that fits with the Japanese culture best, cosplay! At least it gives people here to show some individuality, and not have to feel obligated to give a meaningless piece of chocolate or eat KFC!

18 ( +19 / -1 )

nihonview wrote:

Please do not come for Halloween this year," wouldn't work. You're underestimating the number of people with no common sense. You will need to keep people out by force."

Maybe in Europe, but not in Japan. Just look who is wearing masks and who is not masks.

It’s funny how you try to always mention your supposed superiority against us (I’m a western European) but back home no one talks about Japan,or obon or oshogatsu,but in Japan you are obsessed with Christmas,Valentines day,Halloween,western food,clothes etc.

So we can see who won the battle of civilization,besides as history reminds us it was the Portuguese first and the Dutch then than came to Japan,not the other way around.

And no,these years celebrations should be all stopped.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

@Do the Hustle

All the goolish whatnot was adopted from the Mexican Day of the Dead.

No it wasn't. The pre-Christian Celtic tradition from way, way back, believed the souls of the dead - in ghoulish form - would come out and visit homes and needed to be appeased during the period.

Japanese people jump to foreign traditional events without thoughts. 

Not really. Celebrations after harvest time - a seasonal transition from warm light to cold dark - are nearly universal in the temperate regions of the world. It makes sense for the Japanese to have such a celebration.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I am embarrassed Japanese people jump to foreign traditional events without thoughts. What are we?

Very flexible. A good thing.

There are authoritarian and theocratic countries around the world who clamp down on festivals which supposedly clash with their ideologies and dogmas.

Count your blessings.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The Fun Police have been trying to stop this "Young people having fun in an unregulated manner" for at least five years.

Maybe if the Yaks could get their cut, selling goldfish and candyfloss like they do at summer festivals, it might not be so controversial.

But good luck trying to stop red-blooded boys and girls from enjoying themselves. Old men have tutted at it since time began and they have never managed it yet.

If you can pack the trains every morning and night, and throw untold billions at an Olympic megaspreader event, young people can have a giggle for one night a year. Good luck to them, I say.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I am embarrassed Japanese people jump to foreign traditional events without thoughts

Yeah, how dare they see something other countries fo that is fun, and dare to want to have fun as well. It’s disgusting. If not evil.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

As the virus mainly effects sick elderly people, I can’t imagine many of them crowding on trains and partying in the streets.

Just make Halloween masks mandatory.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Let’s not let a little bug get in the way of having some fun ! Life is for living and if people are so scared of COVID they should self isolate and stop making life miserable for the rest of us

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Socially distanced scares. The zombie won't scare me since he will not come any closer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

if people are so scared of COVID they should self isolate and stop making life miserable for the rest of us

Life is only as miserable as YOU choose it to be, isolated or otherwise! I had to stay home for 2 months because of COVID this year, and you know what....first vacation I had in years!

You are like the guy running for reelection, blame everyone else for your problems, and wonder why people dont love you!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

> @nintendogirl

> IDK why Japanese people like Halloween, since it's a foreign culture. 

"I agree.............

What's to like about Halloween? The candy/snacks? (Bleh)

People having fun? What wants that? (eye rolls)

People drinking and socializing? What is this? A way to relieve stress? (lock em up!)

Funny and amusing costumes? Absurdity...........(plebeians)

And those Crazy foreigners! Send them back to foreign land! (not a real place)

.................said NO ONE EVER!"

I guess some people just like to enjoy their lives once in a while. That's all NintendoGirl. If that is your real name.

Sure, this year may not be the best time for a Shibuya party, but I'm sure there are other ways to celebrate the occasion on a smaller scale.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Halloween is the ONE even that fits with the Japanese culture best, cosplay! At least it gives people here to show some individuality, and not have to feel obligated to give a meaningless piece of chocolate or eat KFC!

I don't know how they do it where you live, Yubaru, but in Osaka, Halloween is National Bosozoku Day

It gets pretty aggressive and often violent in Shinsaibashi. I won't miss it at all if the police shut it down this year.

(Just my personal opinion...)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What’s the point? I was in Shibuya yesterday. Crowded as hell. If people want to celebrate Halloween they will do so regardless. If you catch Corona you catch it. A lot like Russian Roulette.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Superspreader events are certanly scary, I'll give them that. No mask necessary...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Let them enjoy and keep them in Shibuya for a week afterwards. Guinea pigs for virus control.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I thought Halloween was for kids and not for grown ups? We all know what Halloween is all about just like X'mas eve is here in Jland. Not the tradition you expect. Hope they all hunker down and chillax during the halloween.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And William77, well said regarding Japanese superiority complex nonsense.

You are 100% correct

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Shibuya during Halloween is a nightmare even during a 'normal' year, let alone during a pandemic...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

vanityofvanities

I am embarrassed Japanese people jump to foreign traditional events without thoughts. What are we?

Halloween has been Japanized and turned into a Japanese tradition, like so many other things. That IS Japanese culture.

As for costumes, I suppose this year Hazman suits might be a favourite?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When talking about who wears a mask or not, it seems the same comments are often back. Japanese do, foreigners don’t.

Most of foreigners I see do wear a mask, like most of Japanese.

Some Japanese don’t, some foreigners don’t. I am one of them. Why ? I do wear when talking with people in closed space, shops for exemple. Otherwise, when I do not see any risks like in the train or streets, no need. People do not talk in that environments, and there is enough air circulating.  Wearing it is to be socially accepted.

However, what I see often, is people who wear a mask in the streets with a false sense of security, but will go to crowded izakayas and actually that much more risky, that not wearing a mask in a train or streets like I do. Many restaurants or izakayas in Tokyo are crowded now and I am surprised the number of cases do not increase.

In most of European countries, masks have been mandatory for two months. But eh number of cases kept increasing. Why ? Behavior ? certainly. But I also suspect a poor quality of masks and a false sense of security

 

Even with Shibuya's Mayor advice, people will go. Specially people who are against wearing masks.

This argument makes no sense. Not wearing a mask has nothing to do with partying, being ignorant, taking risks.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Readers, please keep the discussion focused on Halloween in Japan, especially Shibuya.

Well I am coming from Miyazaki to Tokyo the 26th to Nov 3. I guarantee you my oldest son and I will be at Shibuya with our bag of Chuhai and can high balls. We will be the MIB guys. Many folk here say I look like Will Smith (my wife and her fam included) and Koji will be K (see what we did there). Come up and join us. Let's Halloween fun time Shibuya (yeah been here that long to remember that).

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I don't know how they do it where you live, Yubaru, but in Osaka, Halloween is National Bosozoku Day

Great! Them them have at it! I mean really, so they go crazy for a night....stay home and enjoy!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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