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Posts tagged kawasaki

Kawasaki Halloween Parade 2009 川崎 ハロウィン パレード

川崎 halloween parade ハロウィン パレード kawasaki japan 2009 balloon

For Halloween, my son and I took the train down to Kawasaki for probably the biggest Halloween event in Japan. I think I heard someone say 2009 was the 8th year they have been doing the Kawasaki Halloween Parade. Signs said that Kawasaki is Japan’s Halloween city. Kawasaki was smart to grab up this holiday as the Japanese seem to really be getting into Halloween.

I read somewhere that sales of Halloween goods were up between 20 and 40% this year in Japan. Somewhere else I read that items sitting on shelves quickly flew off the shelf once the packaging was changed to a Halloween theme.

The stores were packed and the crowds were large on Halloween in Kawasaki. The parade could probably be even bigger if they had the space. As it is now they limit the number of participants to 3,000 (3 groups of 1,000 with traffic let through in between the groups). Probably 20,000 – 30,000 spectators pour into Kawasaki, like us, to watch.

2009 kawasaki halloween parade crowd

The above photo is of a small piece of the crowd. The main reason I took this picture is because of the sign in the upper right corner though. Mizonokuchi (溝口) is a place in Kawasaki that I lived back in late 1988 and early 1989. New Year’s Eve 1988 was the last time I was at the Kawasaki Station. Nearly 21 years later I came back for a different holiday. I’ve gone through Kawasaki on the train many times since, but this was my first time setting foot down in the place since the 80s.

yellow bees kawasaki halloween party parade 2009 tokyo japan costumes

I have loads of pictures and two more videos. You’ll get to see a few of the pictures and the other two videos if you check back over the next few days.

昭和の日

Today is 昭和の日 (Showa no hi — or the day to remember the Showa Era which ran until 1989). The reason for it being today is that Emperor Hirohito, who was the emperor during the Showa Era, was born on this day. Today kicks off Golden Week

Emperor Hirohito died on January 7, 1989. I remember the day well because I was living in Japan at the time–Kawasaki, just south of Tokyo, to be exact. My apartment was very close to the Mizonokuchi train station.

Foreigners living in Japan at the time didn’t know what to expect when the emperor died. Hirohito had been emperor for so long and had such a controversial reputation, given that WWII happened during his reign, that we didn’t know what would happen. Would people celebrate? Mourn for an extended period of time? What should we foreigners do? Keep a low profile? How should we refer to Hirohito when talking to Japanese people? More honorably than normal? Were there new, special terms that we should use now that he was dead rather than living? So many questions and confusion confronted foreigners in Japan at the time.

As it turned out, the Japanese were equally confused. They didn’t know what to do, what was proper, or how to react either. So, it seemed, we were all in the same boat.

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