Things are done differently in Japan. Anyone from overseas living here will tell you that. Sometimes it’s for better, sometimes for worse and sometimes just indifferent. The subject of Halloween probably falls into the latter category. This event has been growing and growing over the years and is now a bigger money maker than Valentines Day but ultimately it’s getting further and further away from its original roots….not that it was ever anywhere near them!!
The Japanese are obsessed with all things cute and so the idea of dressing up in the more traditional Halloween costumes is not so appealing which is why this event in Japan is seemingly just about dressing up in any kind of costume with video game and anime characters a popular choice. With that in mind, I did it Japanese style this year and basically just use the occasion as a chance to do some cosplay.
As a child growing up, one of my heroes was Luke Skywalker. Han Solo may have been cooler but Luke was always the main man and the real hero of the original trilogy. Having gone out as darker Star Wars characters like Darth Maul and a Jawa the last couple of years I thought it was time to ditch that idea and go in a different direction although I did secretly keep it dark as I was wearing my Adidas Darth Vader trainers underneath!
Having seen the X-Wing fighter pilot outfit online earlier in the year I thought that could be good as it’s different but still Halloween style! It’s orange!! What more do you want?!! I finally decided to part with the most cash that I’ve ever paid for a costume. Thankfully, my fee for the Halloween parties in Hibarigaoka the week before more than covered the outlay and in some ways even justifies buying it. It’s for work is what I say!!
In the past I’ve always got changed in a school with a group of friends but this time I had to set off alone from my house to the station and onto the platform at Shinjuku where I met some friends to travel onto Shibuya with. Not a single person on the train was in costume as expected but that was surely about to change once we reached Hachiko right? Wrong!! As we exited the gates there was hardly a sole dressed up but once we’d crossed the famous scramble crossing it all changed as we met all manner of costumed people.
Despite what my mum might say, Star Wars does have close-ish links to Halloween thanks to the Expanded Universe (EU). Sadly, I didn’t spot too many Star Wars characters this year but there were a couple of Darth Maul’s (maybe it was even the same one!!), C3P0, Padme Amidala and a Jedi.
Throughout the night I was interviewed by Fuji TV three times (lots of questions about comparisons between Halloween in Japan and back home) and from those 10-15 minutes of footage they decided not to air a single second of it the following night!!
Many people thought it was Ultraman and a fair few people asked who I was through the night. I ended up just saying “I’m Star Wars!” after a while which seemed to satisfy the Japanese! At the kids party the week before I didn’t even try to explain who or what I was so just settled for saying I was a spaceman!
Eventually, enough was enough and rather than hanging around for another couple of hours till first train I decided to walk back on foot which took 75 minutes with me arriving back at the Tokyo Fox Global Operations Centre just after 4am!
“Luke Who Turned Up For Halloween! (Pt II)” will be linked here very soon!