Happy Halloween from Japan! October 31st is a fun day to wear scary costumes and chase ghosts and spirits from your town (or something like that). It was important to me that my half-Japanese kids be “acculturated” to the U.S. as they grew up, so I made sure they were exposed to such grand American traditions as Scooby Doo and School House Rock and the Peanuts TV specials like “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” — and I also brought them to San Diego so they could experience the joys of trick-or-treating firsthand, just like American kids. Japan, of course, has no historical connection with Halloween, and like Valentine’s Day and (arguably) Christmas, it’s treated as a fun annual event imported from the West. While there’s no tradition of trick-or-treating here, there’s plenty of fun stuff to do, like going in costume to clubs in Roppongi, or going to see the popular Kawasaki Halloween Parade in Kawasaki, sandwiched between Tokyo and Yokohama. Or if you want to be somewhat annoying, you can ride the “Gaijin Halloween Train,” an underground event in which hundreds of costumed foreigners try to get on the same train on Tokyo’s Yamanote loop line then have a drunken party inside. (It’s officially banned due to the inconvenience it causes to hapless Japanese unlucky enough to be trapped on the train with all the foreigners.)
I am always down with posting Halloween fanart.