Halloween Okistyle: Costume Parade in American Village

November 1, 2014, In: Japan, Okinawa, Okinawa
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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.

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

They weren’t messing around when it came to judging these costumes! There were several tents full of people with laptops scoring the contestants.

halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland   Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland  Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

Halloween in Okinawa | Walking Through Wonderland

He is really frustrated that our “family” didn’t have themed costumes. There’s always next year, Dane.

  1. Pingback: Okinawa Halloween Costume COSPLAY: 50 Shades of Cute | Far East Fling

    • Reply

      Thank you for the link!! We would never have found that place without you!

  2. Reply

    Oh this is so adorable!

    Characters & Carry-ons

    • Reply

      Thank you so much for stopping by. Those kids were AWESOME!

  3. Reply

    Oh this is so adorable!

    Characters & Carry-ons

  4. Reply

    These kids look so pretty in colorful costumes! I want to know the origin of halloween – how did this festival start?

    • Reply

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I agree! It’s amazing to see how the holiday has taken forms all over the world. It seems that so many cultures have their own celebrations of their ancestors, but in Japan, Halloween didn’t really take off until about 10 years ago. They actually celebrate their ancestors in August, but I suppose for a culture that loves costumes (anime, comic-con, yokai) Halloween just seemed like a great addition!

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