One of Tokyo’s major train operators has made a request ahead of Halloween: Please don’t get on the train wearing a costume that might scare people.
In an announcement from Keio Corporation, operator of the Keio line train network, the company says: “When going out to celebrate Halloween, please refrain from boarding the train while wearing costumes that may make other passengers feel uneasy or frightened.”
That might sound contrary to the very spirit of Halloween, which is all about drawing fun from fright, but Keio has some understandable concerns. On Halloween night last year (which fell on a Sunday), a man riding a Keio line train while dressed like Batman franchise villain the Joker stabbed another passenger in the chest and set the car on fire, resulting in 17 people requiring medical treatment. In a separate incident that took place this past summer, a man brandishing a sickle tried to force his way past employees into a Keio station.
Keio lines are some of the major pathways from those living in west Tokyo’s more affordable suburbs to get to Shibuya, which has earned a reputation as Japan’s biggest Halloween party venue, and for rowdy lawlessness during the celebrations, which is probably why the company felt the need to make special mention of being considerate to others while onboard its trains.
Keio acknowledges both the stabbing and sickle events in its “no scary costumes please” press release, though without explicitly prohibiting any specific costumes or props. That might make the rule sound pointless, but the company will also be increasing its number of security staff and patrols on Sunday and Monday, and the announcement is likely intended to make passengers aware of the possibility of being asked to comply with directions from employees to make the environment feel safe and secure for everyone onboard.
Source: Keio Corporation via IT Media
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Seems like a reasonable petition, even if completely depends on the public's goodwill to have any effect. It may be just a way to save name (so they can say they were doing something) but at least will help putting into the minds of the commuters beforehand that on Halloween other people will be using costumes.
Hopefully the increase on security staff and patrols will be important enough to make a difference, even if the best case scenario is that it will be "wasted" and nothing negative will happen.
The LDP and Japan Inc. benefit from constantly stressing "safety and security" in their public communication.
It instills an easily exploitable sense of learned helplessness in the populace.
Yep. It was coming. Japan, the land of rules and regulations. Just had to do it, didn't they? Can't have people have spontaneous fun!
Next targets: cosplay, maid culture and public drinking.....
Not surprise because of what happen the last time during halloween. A lot of crazy people that wishes to destroy a special day.
No it isn’t.
I’m not surprised that many young Asians do not know the true meaning of Halloween. I’m shocked that a ‘journalist’ (sic) writing for an English-language publication wouldn’t, though.
This can be traced back to the days of the Halloween train in Tokyo. People would gather and drink on the train to scare other passengers.
here in Japan so called halloween is not related to religion/shinto or buddhism/and also to japanese culture as well.
let me ask-what is reason to "celebrate" halloween here and-why?
clearly no idea abt this halloween insanity....
Classic Japanese subjectivity. How are we supposed to know what makes particular individuals feel "uneasy"? Does, say, having a beard and being muscular make people feel uneasy?
Just leave people alone. By telling them not to wear frightening clothing during Halloween evening will remind those (and there are many) who take absolute delight to frightem people. And there will be those very many who will think very hard and try their very best to find and wear the scariest costumes to enjoy scaring people. That is their way of celebrating Halloween.
Maybe teach people not to be complete wussies who need every single insecurity they have, which are far too many. Reminds me of the ban on foreigners entering the country to allay the fears of locals that it might spread more Covid, until they realized that the disaster outweighs the need to pander to people afraid even of their own shadows. But hey, let these same people laugh and chuckle and talk about how cute it is when a scary ogre walks up to two-year-olds on the same train or at a nursery school and scares the bejeezus out of them on February 2nd.
Japan seems so petrified of the whole event and customs, but the nation sure doesn't seem to mind the sales and profit from it.
People should think of others, especially children, when wearing any costumes or masks, which perpetuate a dystopian setting or making people think there is a deadly virus circulating on the trains at all times. Gives kids nightmares. Perhaps for the rest of their lives due to emotional trauma.
I tend to side with the police here.
"Cute" rather than "scary" should be the aim. Nothing wrong with Harry Potter, Nurses, cute animal masks, Maid outfits etc. Leave the creepy stuff like clown and joker costumes, plastic knives and swords etc at home.
So you are also anti Christmas parties and Valentines day in Japan - among others?
It's not a good idea to wander around the streets with a kitchen knife, in costume or not. But if you are dressed as a Klingon on Hallowe'en, nobody will mind if you are riding the metro with a giant cardboard and bacofoil Bat'leth, sitting next to a witch, the pair of you staring at your smartphones.
Stop trying to ban the entire population from doing something benign because one person did something bad. Stop trying to ban entire social networks because a few people are unpleasant on them.
Those teachers in school who punished everyone because one person misbehaved were hated by the kids. So don't be them.
I scared the bejesus out of a local resident on a bus a while back; I was dressed in business casual but am not Japanese. So the local was 'scared' enough to change seats after throwing a concerned look on his face while staring at me (I was across the aisle from him). He moved further to the back of the bus.
So, is business casual while not being Japanese allowed on Keio's subways?
Nov 1st is a Christian religious holiday.
Halloween is not. My parents were fairly religious. We didn't miss a mass or sacrament, ever.
Halloween was just about dressing up in a costume and going out for some fun. That fun could be a party or to get as much candy from the 20 nearby neighborhoods as possible, going out 3-6 times. The world has changed for the worse.
Good point! Just being other than Asian-looking is enough to make a lot of folks stare and forget to breathe, spill their One Cup on themselves, dash for cover, leave the metro area, move to another planet. Is the hairy guy in the Snow White costume supposed to take responsibility for all that?
Truth to be told, many years ago there was this unofficial loop line halloween party in Osaka, where people dressed up in costumes would ride the loop line while drinking, partying and generally mocking other passengers around because "it's Halloween".
I suppose my Kishida mask and LDP lapel pin are right out then?
Japanese Halloween is a kind of Wakon-Yosai (和魂洋才), adopting a Western culture but in uniquely Japanese way. It's like breathing a Japanese life into a Western body, so to speak.
Before Halloween became popular in Japan, there was a such thing in Japan called Cosplay (コスプレ), or Costume Play, "an activity and performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character". (Wikipedia)
Here is a sample of cosplay by the current Tokyo Governor, Yuriko Koike, for a Halloween party some a few years ago:
Japanese Halloween is in fact nothing but a festival for cosplayers, without reference to stories behind Halloween, a peculiar Japanese practice in which its meaning is dropped and only its form is adopted.
You can see this, for example, in some Japanese weddings that are performed in Christian forms, but without any Christian faith.
Now, Japan has a long history of cosplay in traditional performing arts:
Kabuki - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabuki
kagura - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kagura
Noh - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noh
And don't forget to take your binky and blankie with you so you don't throw a temper tantrum on your way to work. Remember to also eat your veggies and listen to the grown ups....oh wait. You are the grown ups. It's so easy to forget when you have nonsense like this mollycoddling the general population. I mean are they actually being serious with this request? Do they not know how stunningly absurd and ridiculous they sound? What's next, don't wear bright clothing because it can strain other commuters' eyes?
I cannot understand any opposition to this. The experts have made a decision to protect the public, why can’t everyone think of others.
No doubt those wearing scary costumes get their info from a guy on YouTube or on social media. I prefer to get mine from those in charge and I flow without question. It’s my duty as a responsible and decent member of society.
There are also some sick people who wear clown masks (a la IT) just to scare very young children.
I miss the Yamanote Halloween train from the early 2000’s.
It was unbelievable…we would take over 4 cars with everyone in costumes …drinking….dancing….BUT being polite to any locals who were on the train.
These new times suck.
Modern Halloween is the worst thing to come out of the USA. I'll tolerate it. It's okay if people want to party. But please do it in the privacy of your own home, or hire a venue. Definitely don't expect any respect if you're traveling on public transport in full costume.
If there is an increase in security staff and nothing negative happens as a result, then it is not a scenario that the security staff and patrols is "wasted"; that would be in fact the intended result.
It's like saying hopefully wearing seatbelts will make a difference so that the best case scenario in a car accident is that wearing the seatbelts would be "wasted" and no injuries would happen to the wearer of the seatbelts.
That's the whole purpose of wearing the seatbelts; it's not considered a wasted proposition if they protect the wearer. It's the basic function of the seatbelt itself.
Do you understand the meaning of putting a word between quote marks? that is precisely the point. Trying to "correct" something and just repeating what is being said is not making any point. I know you feel the need to follow people around to contradict them in everything they write, but at least try to make an effort to undertand what is being commented.