- Title: JAPAN: Japanese come out in mass to celebrate Halloween
- Date: 1st November 2009
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) KINDERGARTEN STUDENT, ASUKA TAMURA, 5, SAYING: "There was one person who's eyes looked like they had glasses in them. It was really scary."
- Embargoed: 16th November 2009 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA96AJ7BY2Z342WVTEDDXL9T6X4
- Story Text: Thousands take part in a street parade in Japan to mark Halloween.
The streets of Kawasaki, Japan were the meeting point for over 100,000 people on Saturday (October 31) during a Halloween parade and street party.
Following to the beat of thumping techno music, revellers dressed in costumes as anime characters, Michael Jackson impersonators and Star Wars characters marched through the streets as onlookers, many costumed themselves, looked on.
This year's parade recognizably attracted a larger number of participants than usual. A large number of children, who were there with their parents or even grandparents in some cases, fully decked out as their favourite characters.
As the parade is in its 13th year, many of its earlier participants are now bringing their own children to follow in their annual tradition.
"The little kids were really cute. There was one who was wearing a panda costume and it was adorable," said 19-year-old student, Shiori Murakami.
While Halloween has traditionally been a North American and European tradition, Japan has adopted the festival and in typical Japanese fashion, added its own twist.
"I've never seen a parade like this in the US. Like, I've seen much smaller, but not with this many people and with this many people watching. This is great," said Lori Davis, an American teacher.
"It's really just a festival. Participating, Dancing, and just going crazy, I really had fun," said Tetsuji Shimizu, 36, who was dressed as Star War's C3PO.
For others, the event was a chance to dance the night away.
"Recently there's been a lot of special costumes coming out, so I think there are a lot more people who are wearing costumes," said Kumiko Yoshikawa, who was teaching a Michael Jackson impersonator how to dance to Jackson's hit song, "Thriller".
Despite this year's large participation by children, the costumes did not get any less scary.
"There was one person who's eyes looked like they had glasses in them. It was really scary," said Asuka Tamura.
Participants in the parade had to pre-register and this year's registration was filled up a month ahead. Organizers expect it to fill up next year as well.
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