Saturday, October 31, 2009

Holiday Theft

Halloween in Japan isn’t huge but it’s getting there. Last Halloween about 3000 adults turned out for a costume parade through downtown Kawasaki City. It's sort of sad, almost as if Halloween has been stolen. If everybody has Halloween it just makes Halloween in America a little less special and to me that’s a crime.

At our house we usually carve a jack o’lantern or two (and even more sometimes) and set it out in front of the door to our home in Yokohama. Passersby usually stop to look and some even take a picture. This year no body paid them any mind, I’m afraid they’re becoming commonplace.

I feel somewhat guilty for this "crime." We used to have big Halloween parties for the kids in our neighborhood. We first held them at home. They eventually got too big for our humble abode and so we moved the party to the grounds of the local shrine (which is kind of akin to having a Purim party in the basement of a Catholic Church). They were great parties with traditional and not-so-traditional Halloween party games, costumes, lots of treats and more that ended with groups of four or five kids carving their own pumpkins. When my youngest son, Jonah, hit eight we stopped having the parties. But the parties didn’t stop. The kids who came to our party began having parties of their own and now there are thousands of Frankenstiens and other monsters parading the streets of Japan every Halloween with no end in sight. It’s gotten so that Halloween has become as Japanese as apple pie with sushi on top. Now that’s scary.

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