Spooky season is just around the corner, and you may be wondering, how does Japan celebrate Halloween? We will answer your question in this article. And don’t forget to check out Peko Peko shop or to subscribe to Peko Peko Box. For Halloween, enjoy our 9% OFF discount on everything! Use code HALLOWEEN2021 at checkout.
Halloween in Japan
Halloween grew in popularity after Disneyland Tokyo held a Halloween event in 2000. Soon, it became quite popular among young people all over the country.
In Japan, people don’t trick or treat, but mainly enjoy creating their own costumes and showing it off on the streets. For many cosplay (costume play) amators, Halloween is the perfect opportunity to show off their creativity. There are a few places in Japan where people parade, the most known one being at Shibuya crossing.
Shibuya crossing attracts around 60,000 to 80,000 people every year, coming to enjoy a crazy night. After some accidents caused by the drunk mob, drinking on the streets of Shibuya during Halloween became forbidden in the past years.
Around Halloween, attraction parks such as Disneyland in Tokyo and Universal Studio in Osaka hold Halloween events, and it is a good place to enjoy the spooky season.
4 and 9, bad luck numbers
In Japan, 4 and 9 are two unlucky numbers. Why? Because of how they sound. 4 in Japanese can be pronounced “shi”, which is the same sound as the word for “death”.
9 is pronounced “kyu” or “ku” which sound just like the word for “agony” or “suffering”.
Some hospitals don’t have rooms numbered 4 or 9 as it is considered bad luck. It is also said that yakuza put 444 on their license plate to show that they are not afraid of dying.
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Other bad luck superstitions in Japan
There are a lot of superstitions in Japan, as in any other countries. Here are some of our favorites.
Hearse are, quite obviously, a symbol of death. In Japan, if you see a hearse, you should hide your thumb in your palm. Indeed, in Japanese, the thumb is called “oya yubi” which means the “parents finger”. By hiding it, you protect your parents from passing away too soon.
As breaking a mirror in the west is seen as a bad omen, breaking a comb in Japan is said to bring bad luck. Some explain this superstition as comb were in the past quite expensive and it would have been a loss to break one.
Everyone knows tatami, Japan’s traditional floor mats. It is said that stepping on the sides of the tatamis can bring bad luck to one’s family.
Finally, you should pay attention to how you sleep. Indeed, in Japan, sleeping facing north is considered bad luck and brings death, as during funerals, dead bodys are placed facing the north.