How2: Japanese Halloween

Japanese vocabulary for Halloween

Photo by Rahul on

Halloween is a very commercial time for the Japanese, especially those with children or those who work with children. Here’s a handy list of some spooky vocabulary for you.

Firstly, picture the scene you are at a ハロウェインパルティ(Halloween party) and you are really enjoying seeing all the 怖い飾り(spooky decorations) hanging all around you.

The problem with these 怖い飾り is that they are sub-dollar store quality. You look around and see a giant hairy くも(spider), in it’s 蜘蛛の巣(spider web)along with black コウモリ (bat- animal) small orange かぼちゃ (pumpkins). There are かぼちゃ everywhere! They are next to the キャンディー/ 菓子 (sweets or candy), and next to a TV where a ホラー映画 (horror film) is playing.

You’re actually a bit bored and you decide to mingle a bit, you have- like many others decided to 仮装する (wear a costume) and there are some good ones tonight! There is a ミイラ (mummy), ゾンビ (zombie), 魔女 (witch), an old fashioned おばけ (ghost) – is that a bed sheet?- not too original then; a 吸血鬼 [or the more updated  ヴァンパイア] (vampire), and finally is that several 骸骨 (skeletons) doing the 骸骨の踊り (skeleton dance) from the 1929 Disney short?!

What sort of party in what sort of 御化け屋敷 (haunted house) did you go to?

Opinion: a festive update

Even the ninja train gets a spooky update.


While coming home from work, the train pulls up and out of the torrential rain (or 大雨 oame) a spooky site appeared when I boarded it. I say spooky it’s more cute I feel.

However like many companies in Japan, western holidays are a chance to do something a bit different by wearing costumes, offering special limited-time products or by decorating the work space. And this spooky offering did cheer me up after a long day.

However, what you see was exactly what you got, no spooky music, no comductor in costume. Just a little bit of cheese around Halloween.

What spooky things, if any, will I discover this week?

Thank you for reading and happy exploring

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