Halloween revelry in Japan to take new forms during pandemic
Japan Times -- Oct 23
Halloween in Japan is expected to be celebrated in new ways this year, at socially distanced events or online with revelers upping their facial decorations, as attempts are being made to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Concern that the famed Shibuya scramble crossing in Tokyo may become a virus hotspot, should tens of thousands of revelers congregate there on Oct. 31 as in the past, has forced the ward’s Mayor, Ken Hasebe, to call on people to celebrate virtually.

People are instead being encouraged to enjoy a virtually created Shibuya, approved by the ward, in which people can walk around as avatars and show off their costumes. They can also watch a live show by pop singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

Other cities are switching to online celebrations as well.

Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, which saw around 120,000 people attend its costume parade last year, has launched an online costume contest on its website. Contestants from around the world can submit videos of themselves wearing their costumes for a grand prix award of ¥500,000 ($4,700).

“Halloween originates from the practice of expelling evil spirits. We want our wish of expelling the coronavirus to be granted by using the possibility of people connecting online from home,” said Yohei Yatabe, who manages the project.

Theme parks are also taking various measures to avoid becoming virus hotspots.

News source: Japan Times
Dec 03
Sakura Jingu Shrine provides foreigners the unique experience of having a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony. (NHK WORLD-JAPAN)
Dec 03
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have busted a casino operating illegally in the Kabukicho red-light district, reports TBS News (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 03
Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a 35-year-old woman who is suspected of killing her newborn boy at their residence in Kawasaki City, reports NHK. (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 02
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 57-year-old man who is suspected of injecting a teenage girl with stimulant drugs while having sex with her, reports Fuji News Network (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 02
In Japan, more people have died of suicide in one month than from the Wuhan virus the entire year. (WION)
Dec 02
At the opening of the trial for a 31-year-old woman who is suspected of causing a fatal car accident earlier this year, she claimed to not remember using stimulant drugs beforehand, reports TBS News (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 02
Prosecutors sought a one-year prison term for Japanese actor Yusuke Iseya on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to cannabis possession in his trial at the Tokyo District Court, while his defense lawyers asked for a suspended sentence. (Kyodo)
Dec 02
Miru Shiroma, a member of idol group NMB48, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, her agency revealed on Monday. (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 01
Princess Aiko, the only child of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako, turned 19 on Tuesday while attending online classes at her university as a first-year student amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Kyodo)
Nov 30
Crown Prince Fumihito, the younger brother of Emperor Naruhito, has said he "approves" of his daughter Princess Mako marrying her university boyfriend Kei Komuro, but reiterated that Komuro's mother must solve a money dispute she is involved in first. (Kyodo)
Nov 30
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused many businesses to increasingly rely on the internet for survival. (tokyoreporter.com)
Nov 30
One girl’s mesmerising voyage through Japan is cut short when she encounters another girl — a recurring stranger — haunting her path. (NOWNESS)
Nov 30
Veteran enka singer Shoji Koganezawa, 62, has been arrested for drunk driving, police in Tokyo said Sunday. (Japan Today)
Nov 29
Police in Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture, have arrested a common-law couple on suspicion of leaving the body of an infant inside a refrigerator at their apartment. (Japan Today)
Nov 29
A man died and 11 others were injured after a leisure fishing boat capsized following a collision with a cargo vessel at a port in eastern Japan early Saturday morning, the Japan Coast Guard said. (Kyodo)
Nov 29
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 23-year-old man over the alleged molestation of a woman in Kita Ward earlier this year, reports Nippon News Network. (tokyoreporter.com)
Nov 28
Chiba Prefectural Police have arrested two men who are suspected of drugging and raping nearly one dozen women, reports TBS News. (tokyoreporter.com)
Nov 27
Japanese prosecutors have demanded the death penalty for a 30-year-old man charged with murdering nine people at his apartment in the city of Zama, near Tokyo. (NHK)
Nov 27
Japan's Imperial Household Agency said Friday it has decided to cancel Emperor Naruhito's annual New Year event at the Imperial Palace due to a recent spike in the number of new cases of the novel coronavirus. (Kyodo)
Nov 25
Jiji Press has confirmed the existence of a sword-slashed uniform of a former Ground Self-Defense Force officer attacked by author Yukio Mishima during his failed coup attempt 50 years ago. (Japan Times)