But then there's Halloween, my favorite holiday.
And one that hasn't, quite, figured out what to do with itself.
It's not from lack of trying mind you, if anything the elements are already there. Japan loves a good scare. Japan abounds with monsters and ghosts a plenty, it has no issue with the idea of dressing up in costume, and it does have a sweet tooth, if not as sweet as Americans. It even has a holiday season akin to Halloween, O-Bon when the spirits of the dead return and bring with them ghosts and goblins. That could be Japan's problem actually, everything that Halloween is can be found in native Japanese holidays and customs at other times of year. But the idea of Halloween has been growing, pushed on not so much by a Japanese company looking to sell something, but due to hordes of Americans who have been teaching in Japan on the JET Programme and other related endeavors.
As part of the notion of internationalization and culture sharing, just about every AET, American or not, has had to conduct some kind of Halloween lesson or party over here. With varying degrees of enthusiasm no doubt, but they have been done and slowly, it's been growing. 8 years ago and you couldn't find anything Halloween related, now even the local grocery store stocks some themed candy. 8 years ago and I had to send to the US for my costume, this year I was flabbergasted at the display over at local store that included actual make-up kits and costumes that were not Christmas related (One of my fondest memories was helping at a Halloween event my first year in Japan just to see kids dressed up as Santa Claus). It's not the Halloween stores at home, or even Wal*Mart, but it's getting bigger.
That said, we still do not have the concept of trick-or-treating over here yet, at least not a general one ala the US. So what is a Halloween loving parent to do to help his sons get this most wonderful of holidays?
|It's a start!|
|Happy Halloween in Shiojiri|
|I admit, they were very cute!|
Actually, the bad part was that I could do nothing. I have no qualms, even when not on the clock, of adding in a good scare, but Hikaru was jittery enough and I didn't want him freaking out at a scary Daddy so... All I could do was stand there and just look spooky.
Given that I caused a few kids to cry, that was apparently enough.