Tokyo Halloween on the Street – An Article by our Course Director

The Course Director of the GFC, Professor Yoko Takagi, has recently co-authored a paper on Halloween in Tokyo in Dress, The Journal of the Costume Society of America. Please read it here. If you don’t live in Tokyo, then you may not be aware of the insanity that happens on Halloween in Tokyo. It’s only really picked up since a few years ago, but it really is something special.

Tokyo Halloween on the Street

Japanese Dressing Up Between Bricolage and Authenticity

Pages 1-21 | Published online: 03 Apr 2017

Drawing on perspectives related to fashion and consumerist cultures on the one hand and anthropology and appropriation on the other hand, this paper addresses dressing up on the streets during the celebration of Halloween in Tokyo, Japan. By relating commercially marketed Halloween fun-dress to longtime existing Japanese, European, and American cultural practices, we aim to show how Americanized “poplore” culture in Japan after the 1970s interacts with and empowers local practices. Evidence is based on the authors’ personal observations of Halloween in Tokyo on October 31, 2015. We examined Halloween promotion in visual media and shopping culture, studied the costumes and dressing up, and participated in the evening of Halloween on October 31, 2015 by wearing zombie makeup on the streets.