This weekend I experienced my first Halloween in Japan!! Previous years I have spent my Halloween at Michigan’s biggest anime convention in Detroit, Youmacon, but this year I spent it partying with my friends at Ingrid’s International bar in Tokushima. While teaching this week’s conversation lessons, I asked a lot of my Japanese students what they thought of Halloween and if they celebrated it. Interestingly enough, all of them said they thought it was a fun holiday but they preferred rather to observe rather than celebrate it. The older couple that I teach said Halloween wasn’t popular in Japan until recently and that usually children attending English schools and young adults in the Tokyo area celebrate it the most. Regardless of Japanese tradition, I was determined to celebrate my favorite with some of my foreign friends for a little taste of home!
Since I couldn’t fit any of my cosplay in with my luggage, I decided to make 2 improvisational costumes! Friday night I was a neon panda with my fluffy white jacket and hat I borrowed from my Japanese friend. Saturday night I was a flight attendant with a costume that Ingrid lent me! As I walked to the bar from the station, a lot of young Japanese people were dressed up and called me over for a photo! They gave me candy as well and wished me happy Halloween. As I approached the bar district, I saw more and more costumes! A lot of the girls were dressed as zombie dolls and had blood and gore makeup. I was impressed as I made my way to the biggest dance party of Tokushima. When I arrived there were 2 DJs and the bar was already packed but I saw a lot of familiar faces and made a bunch of new friends. I met a lot of other English teachers from the UK, Sweden, and New Zealand as well as a couple Japanese people who were interested in practicing their English. Overall it was a fantastic night and in the end I felt at home!