I was wondering which version of thank you was most appropriate when leaving a restaurant: “Domo Arigato Gozaimasu” or “Domo Arigato Gozaimashita”. However, the topic of our Japanese class seemed to just keep coming back to the most important question on everyone else’s minds: “Do they celebrate Halloween in Okinawa?”
Correct answer: yes.
Our teacher explained that they do not celebrate the way that we do in the States or go door to door asking strangers for candy (we can’t vouch for this as we were not at home) but after our experience last night, I feel confident in answering the question by saying, yes, the Japanese absolutely celebrate Halloween in Okinawa.
Our scuba instructor had advised that if we had the night free we should walk over to American Village for the Halloween Costume Parade. This “parade” turned out to be a pageant of sorts with about 300 entries, over 30 judges with laptops, and a couple of thousand onlookers. The costumes ranged from predictable to downright brilliant, and I’m going to plead some Japanese ignorance for the ones just went right over my head.
Another thing that we noticed were that group halloween costumes seemed to be a big thing. I don’t just mean family halloween costumes… I mean, everyone who went with friends seemed to be dressed the same. There were dozens of different groups of teenage minions (a very popular costume choice out here) as well as groups of zombies, prisoners, students, etc.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures from a night of celebrating Halloween Okistyle.
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.