Monday, October 31, 2005


It’s again this time of the year! Our lovely, casual community gathering place, Hirome ichiba market held Halloween weekend events on the 29th and 30th. Of course, that included the big costume dance party Saturday night. Boy we had a blast!

Their Halloween events at Hirome ichiba market seem to have grown bigger over the past couple of years, especially the daytime events. Now it is a whole-weekend thing there, instead of a trick-or-treating and costume party on the 31st only as in many other places.

The market was decorated with balloons everywhere and the employees were working in Halloween T-shirts for both Sat and Sun. Even the elder staff at the eateries, who probably had absolutely no idea what Halloween was about and where it came from, were serving food in orange colored T-shirts and with a face painting on. Right outside the entrance of the market, a stage was built so that people could enjoy various shows and performances there both days as well as the kids’ costume contest.

I often hear the criticism by both Japanese and non-Japanese people that “The Japanese always adopt foreign customs and make them into money-making strategies without paying any attention to their true meanings or historical backgrounds, etc.,” and I do see their point. I would have fully agreed with such criticism if it were 10 years ago when I was an office worker in Osaka, a way bigger city than Kochi.

But now, living in this rural area when the economy is down like this, how can you blame the local folks’ efforts to boost their sales just a little by cooperating to create a fun event together? And isn’t it a blessing after all to be able to see both kids and adults, Japanese and non-Japanese, having fun in this kind of festive atmosphere, with no worries about any danger or crime associated with the event? To me, there are things more important in life than cultural analysis. So in the Halloween weekend in recent years, I give my analytical mind (if I had any) a total break and just pursue fun as much as I can. You know, it’s Kochi here and we are innately fun-loving folks ;)

Even the shops selling typically traditional Japanese stuff were decorated with Jack-o-lanterns that weekend. The photo is a shop selling chikuwa and kamaboko (steamed/broiled fish cakes).

At the counter of what they called “craft street,” kids tried beading, candle making and carving mini-pumpkins.

Oh, face painting doesn’t hurt, kiddo :)

A juggler on stage. (Sorry about blurr pic.) His real job is a computer instructor. He's juggling three fire-lit torches.

Musical “Sleepy Hollow” in local dialect by some ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers)

In this musical, Ichabod was killed by ghosts. More scary than the original version??

The main attraction for many adults is the Halloween costume party that starts at around 11:30 pm. This year I was so determined to join the party, but unfortunately I had to work at the izakaya that night until 11:30 pm. The izakaya is only 5 minutes walk from Hirome ichiba so I knew I wouldn’t miss much of the party, but the problem was finding a place to change into the costume. Changing at the izakaya was a big no-no (my colleagues would have teased me for the rest of my life if they had seen me in costume there), and admission fee was more expensive for those without costumes. The solution came from a friend of mine; she let me change in her car in Hirome market’s parking lot. Thanks!

A samurai and Mr. D (I forgot what he was called.)

Red devil and devil’s advocate

Dracula and witch -- the musts at any Halloween parties

Little mermaid, flower person and…???

Award winning, captain … something. I don't remember what he was called. I just called him “captain octopus” for an obvious reason.

Of course we know that the statue of liberty in NY is holding up a soft serve ice cream cone

This ultra-man was so shy that he had to wear a mask to be in a picture

Of course there was Mr. Incredible, too!!

And here’s the grand-prize winner, “Mona Lisa.”

It was so much fun. And here's my costume. Believe it or not, I won a prize (four coupons worth 2000 yen in total) with this costume! ;)

posted by obachan, 10/31/2005 10:54:00 AM


Congratulations, Obachan! I like the balloon.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 10/31/2005 4:06 PM  
Ahhh.. so you are incredible gal.. Obachan..!! nice.. nice..!!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11/01/2005 4:56 AM  
Hi Obachan,
Just a quick note from me to say thank you for visiting my blog. I will go and read yours now. Already peeked at the net casting post, fascinating!
commented by Blogger Karen Baking Soda, 11/02/2005 4:02 AM  
Amber Amethryne
They gave away those balloons at the Halloween event…to kids. I didn’t have a courage to ask one for me so I found a balloon tied to a bicycle parked at Hirome market and took that photo when no one was watching.

Mama BoK
Yep, elastigirl!

Baking Soda
Hi. So nice of you to visit my blog! I’ll definitely tell the netcasting folks about you. They’ll be really delighted to know that someone from Netherlands took a look at the post and their photos. ;)
commented by Blogger obachan, 11/02/2005 10:38 AM  
Hello Obachan,
Is that you in the middle of mermaid and flower girl?
If so you are darling and much too young or too young-looking to be called Obachan!
What is wrong with the men in Kochi? Don't they recognize a catch when they see one?
Pardon the late entry and my being so presumptuous. Shumimasen deshita.
commented by Blogger Rei, 1/24/2008 5:44 PM  
oops i meant sumimasen deshita.
Gomen nasai.
commented by Blogger Rei, 1/24/2008 5:46 PM  

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