Shibuya, the youthful, nightlife centre of Tokyo came to a virtual standstill last night as tens of thousands of people dressed up as everything from Dracula to Waldo and partied into the night. Halloween has seriously come of age in Japan. And the question has been raised of whether this is a further Americanisation of Japan and is that a good or a bad thing.
The coordination was remarkable. Friends had arranged themes and arrived as individual concepts groups. The lockers around the station were bulging with clothes as people changed (presumably so their parents didn't see them leave the house dressed in such creative ways). Each time the lights changed at Hachiko Crossing police would run to the centre in a vain attempt to try and control the revellers. Wasn't happening. They were instantly overwhelmed but really didn't need to be there.
So, in answer to the question as to whether this was a further example of an Americanisation of Japan I would say no. There were literally thousands of teenagers gathered together simply having fun. A lot of work and organised planning had gone into this night. This wasn't an Americanisation of Japan, this is the Japanisation of Halloween.
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