When I was in Tokyo 8 years ago on a scholarship, the cult of Halloween was already pushing its way into Japan. Jack-o’-lanterns, witches, and ghosts were all over the shops in October, where they took over the window displays. You could see the signs that Halloween was just around the corner, but it didn’t go much beyond the decorations, the pumpkins, and the witch-shaped goodies one could eat. In the past few years, though, Halloween has exploded in popularity, with restaurants and night clubs holding a wealth of Halloween parties throughout October. The Kawasaki Halloween Festival, which started 18 years ago but wasn’t very popular initially, has now come into its own, with huge numbers of participants wearing costumes.