'Understated Halloween': Japan embraces low-key cosplay

Posted by On 10:58 PM

'Understated Halloween': Japan embraces low-key cosplay

Japan ‘Understated Halloween’: Japan embraces low-key cosplay

Tokyo residents donned unflashy costumes that skewered social dilemmas as antidote to traditional celebrations

An ‘Understated Halloween’ tableau: a man who got his coat stuck in a train door and a woman holding her rubbish because she couldn’t find a bin.
An ‘Understated Halloween’ tableau: a man who got his coat stuck in a train door and a woman holding her rubbish because she couldn’t find a bin. Photograph: dailyportalz

While thousands donned meticulously assembled costumes and caused mayhem in central Tokyo, other people in Japan opted to mark Halloween in a more reserved fashion.

An “Understated Halloween” event was held in the Shibuya district of Tokyowhere “flashy fancy dress” was banned in favour of dressing up to recreate everyday scenes and encounters from Japanese life that elicited nods of recognition to shoulder-shaking mirth after photos of the event went viral on social media.

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The images were widely shared among Twitter users in Japan over the weekend, serving as an antidote to the mass exhibitionism that has come to define traditional Halloween celebrations in the capital’s Shibuya district.

The tableaux included the apprentice hairdresser who has cut too much hair off a speechless customer, an actor in his 20s forced to play a high school pupil, and a traveler who, on returning to Tokyo’s Haneda airport from warmer climes, realises he is inadequately dressed.

Mulboyne (@Mulboyne)

Just catching up on the 地å'³ãªãƒãƒ­ã‚¦ã‚£ãƒ³ ("sober Halloween") event, where flashy fancy dress is banned, in favour of everyday cosplay. This girl has come as the kind of model you see on cheap Korean fashion mail order sites. https://t.co/TzzJrjF4hF pic.twitter.com/6VuJKndunL

November 3, 2018
Mulboyne (@Mulboyne)

An apprentice hairdresser, who has cut too much off, with a customer who is left speechless. pic.twitter.com/1B3yz6d50X

November 3, 2018

Some targeted the corporate world, including an ad for a hay fever nasal wash, a Uniqlo mannequin and “the kind of model you see on cheap Korean fashion mail order sites”.

There was room, too, for takes on celebrity memes, exemplified by “Keanu Reeves eating lunch alone.”

One of the Japanese co-organisers of the event, which was held in Shibuya, encouraged people to keep spreading the Understated Halloween message to English speakers.

Mulboyne (@Mulboyne)

These two have come as an apologetic YouTube video. pic.twitter.com/mYHdOr5sVM

November 3, 2018

Mulboyne, a Tokyo resident, was among those who had obliged, creating a single thread that attracted dozens of messages from grateful users in Japan and beyond.

“I first heard of this event a couple of years ago but only ever saw one or two characters, and didn’t really understand what they were doing. This year, I heard my wife giggling ... that led me to the dailyportalz site. They seemed so clever, and many were a great reflection of the way Japanese people can be keen observers of tics, foibles, and minor social dilemmas,” he said.

Not surprisingly for a country with a long tradition of cosplay and an appetite for American culture, Japan has embraced Halloween with an enthusiasm matched in few other countries.

While the US tradition of dishing out sweets to trick-or-treating children seems to be confined to police officers and yakuza gangsters, for many young Japanese, wearing a costume â€" from the macabre to the playful â€" and comparing their handiwork in bars, clubs, and on the street has become an unmissable annual event.

Japan, though, is less prepared for impromptu gatherings of costumed hordes at popular spots like Shibuya’s scramble crossing, where more than a dozen people were arrested last week for groping and theft.

One group overturned a small truck, while volunteers spent the early hours of morning cleaning up huge quantities of rubbish left behind by their fellow revellers. For businesses, residents and the police, Halloween Japan-style may be more trouble than it’s worth.

Mulboyne (@Mulboyne)

You can't get more everyday than cosplaying as a guy who has spilled coffee down his front. https://t.co/2nxI5ffFVK

November 3, 2018
Mulboyne (@Mulboyne)

Guy is a commuter who got his jacket caught in the subway door at Ikejiri Ohashi, and couldn't get off until Kudanshita (presumably, because the doors kept opening on the other side). She's carrying her rubbish because she couldn't find a bin at the station. pic.twitter.com/jnWMji1Xxk

November 3, 2018
Mulboyne (@Mulboyne)

This guy is a tourist in Kawagoe, who bought his fugashi snack souvenir too early, and has to carry it around. pic.twitter.com/sgSS7rR6ec

November 3, 2018
Mulboyne (@Mulboyne)

He's the ubiquitous 二番目にお待ちのお客様 ("Next Customer" - as in "Next customer, please," at the cash register) pic.twitter.com/yCZvN168Tx

November 3, 2018
Topics Source: Google News Japan | Netizen 24 Japan

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