Halloween in Tokyo and Super Powers
I was in Shibuya, Tokyo last night after visiting a friend. I didn’t realize this is party central for Halloween with millions of young people in costumes or watching others in costumes. It’s a giant street party, with lots of police and special officers dubbed “DJ police” to marshal crowds with a spirit of goodwill, saying loudly but kindly in Japanese, “please go this way”, “be careful”, “watch where you are going”.
It was fun to watch the young Japanese in their costumes, taking selfies and having photos taken of them, and using the opportunity to be in character, with many costumes being cute, cartoonish or of a superhero, for both men and women. It’s a big deal for the Japanese to dress up as they are forced to act a certain way in society and stay within the well defined societal box and rules. It’s a chance to get out of that box for one night and that is why the fantasy world of cosplay, anime (Japanese animated film) and manga (Japanese comic book) is popular with the young and older here. Though, maybe that’s why the Japanese fantasy world has become attractive to worldwide audiences, in particular, the young.
In this fantasy world, the young superheroes have big eyes and special powers. I asked one young man who is a fan of anime and manga, “why the big eyes for the superheroes?” He answered that maybe it’s to show they are super observant of what’s going on and to express more emotion.
I like the Japanese girl superheroes, there are many, and one of my favourites is Sailor Moon who is going to punish you (if you’re a bad guy) in the name of love. She’s deeply caring of those around her and fairly unafraid of the looming darkness that seeks to devour our world.
This fantasy world of the Japanese is so different from the normal society but there is something there, in what we want, and what we want to be.
Maybe I need to find a superhero I can identify with or create my own? Who could she be? She is wearing a sparkling pink outfit with bright blue hair and has superpowers of connection, creating amazing things, and healing people. Who is your superhero character and what are your special powers?
Trying to find the subway and go home at Shibuya with the streets so packed, I let go and enjoyed my additional superpowers of being curious and loving adventures. It energized me and made me feel that I could conquer anything, including the crowds at Shibuya.