Halloween in Japan

Halloween’s a comparatively recent phenomenon in Japan. It’s a big marketing opportunity and while older Japanese typically cannot quite see what the fuss is about, children are definitely the major target of events, merchandise and advertising.

Because it’s perceived as a foreign holiday imported from “America” (I know, I know, just saying what the general perception is), English schools and lessons typically have to do a lot of stuff to celebrate it. There’s no differentiating between different native English speakers and our feelings on the matter, either – we all simply must be keen on it and that’s that.

Thus, for me, Halloween in a normal year typically means a lot of work. However much I might be feeling restless and missing work in a general sense right now, it is nice to see all that merchandise appear in the aisles of the shops and remember that hey, this once, I don’t have to do anything with it.

I can even look at pumpkins like the guy above, who has been perched in my local supermarket since around the start of October and whose cardboard features are steadily growing worse for wear, and feel quite amused!


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