Halloween Offers Magical Power For Japanese

Halloween offers magical power for JapaneseIn Irish folklore, fairies, ghosts and demons are common entities. Irish poet William Butler Yeats offered advice about how to treat these supernatural beings in his book, “The Celtic Twilight.”
“And after all, can we come to so great evil if we keep a little fire on our (hearts) and in our souls, and welcome with open hand whatever of excellent come to warm itself, whether it be man or phantom, and do not say too fiercely, even to the (ghouls) themselves, ‘Be ye gone?’”

Halloween has its roots in a culture that readily embraces the spirit world.

During the harvest season, when the dead were said to return to this world, people disguised themselves as ghosts to pretend to be of the same ilk and offered them food.

This custom was brought by immigrants to the United States in the 19th century and became popular there.

Halloween has suddenly gained much traction in Japan in the past several years.

It has been reported that sales related to the holiday this year rival those linked to Valentine’s Day.

The orange color of jack-o’-lanterns and their ghastly smiles have come to symbolize this season.

But the way Japanese enjoy Halloween seems to be a little different from how people celebrate the holiday in countries where it has long been a tradition. In the West, Halloween is regarded as an event mainly for children, who go door to door in their neighborhoods to collect candy. In Japan, adults also party and romp about.

According to Kenji Ishii, a religious sociologist, events that have become popular in Japan during the postwar period reflect important social changes in this nation.

Christmas, for instance, spread in Japan as it was embraced as an occasion for increasingly prevalent nuclear families to confirm their happiness. The rise in popularity of Valentine’s Day coincided with the emergence of women as an important consumer group.

And how about Halloween? On Oct. 31, what we witnessed in Tokyo were mostly cosplay parties on the street.

People dressing up as scary creatures or anime heroes for Halloween say the holiday offers a great opportunity to become something completely different from them, and to feel a sense of unity with other people in costumes.

It appears that Japanese want a magical power easily accessible in these times that we live in.