Halloween on Okinawa; mix of Japanese and down home American
Halloween is a popular traditional family event especially in western countries, and is recently getting popular also in Japan. In the case of Okinawa, Halloween probably became a tradition here earlier than in mainland Japan, because so many Americans are living on the island, who have organized Halloween parties and trick-or-treats that they had been accustomed to back home.
Lately, Halloween has become one of the most fun events of the year for local Okinawans with a lot of costume contests held everywhere and monsters walking around a common sight downtown in the island’s cities and towns on October 31st. It’s obviously because there are many foreign people living on Okinawa who enjoy the event and dress up for the occasion in full-fledged costumes. Perhaps even more than mainland Japan, Okinawa has Halloween atmosphere closer to the genuine than elsewhere in Japan.
In Japan, people dress more in pop costumes, almost like cosplayers, than to become goblins or monsters, and the Halloween parties are more adult oriented than for the kids. Newcomers from foreign countries might be surprised of such Halloween parties even on Okinawa, but they would be fun. So, let’s enjoy Okinawan Halloween.
The most famous annual Halloween costume contest on Okinawa is the “Halloween Mihama” in the American Village, Chatan, but the contest will not be held this year. Instead it has been changed into a photo contest on Instagram. Participants are urged to take pictures of themselves wearing costumes around Mihama, and post them on the Instagram. The winners, chosen among the participants, will get special prizes! More details about the Halloween Mihama contest is at http://www.okinawa-americanvillage.com/ .
Other fun Halloween events on the island at the end of October include “Okuma Beach Fright Fest” on Oct. 28, “Halloween Town in Koza” at the Ichibangai shopping arcade in Okinawa City on Oct. 28th, “Yaese de Happy Halloween” children’s event at Yaese Road Station in Yaese Town on Oct. 28, the “Botanical Halloween” at Southeast Botanical Gardens in Okinawa City on Oct. 28, a “Halloween Kids’ Costume Contest” at AEON Chatan department store in Mihama on Oct. 29, and a Halloween parade on the shopping street in Kadena Town on Oct. 31st. Above Halloween Events cancelled because of the typhoon approaching.
Have a happy Halloween!!