Another entry in my month-long celebration of all things Halloween

Are you looking for that perfect Halloween costume? If you want something unique that will ensure you stand out in a crowd, look no further than our friends on the other side of the Pacific. I’ve carefully researched the costumes that are popular in Japan and here are the most interesting of the lot.

If dressing in drag is your cup of tea, these are for you:

costume-drag1And of course:

costume-drag2And putting things on one’s head seems to be a popular Halloween choice in Japan. So here are some options in this category:

costume-goofyheadsI’m not sure what these are supposed to be, but sign me up:

costume-pinkthingAnd here’s something for a different kind of head:

costume-penisDressing up as animals is always a Halloween favorite. But I love the Japanese attention to detail. Take a look at this. Who else but the Japanese would think to attach balls to the costume:


If you want your costume to “bug” people:

gokiburi-otokoIf you’re like me, when you’re thinking of Halloween costume ideas, you immediately think how cool it would be to go dressed as a soda vending machine. But where to find such an item? Why, Japan of course:

pop-machine-costumeAre you a fan of “Swan Lake?”  If so:

mjp-11-Vegetables and fruits are another popular item:

costume-vegetablesCan someone who knows Japanese please tell me what what the dialogue bubble at the tip of this man’s banana is saying?:

kigurumi025Of course, you can always dress up like a celebrity and the Japanese are here to help with that as well. Here’s the late Michael Jackson:

halloween-michealThe middle guy is obviously Elvis. The others not so sure about:

costume-rockabillyEddie Murphy in Delirious:

deliriousI’m not so sure who this is supposed to be:

spinerBut I’m going to go with Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Brent Spiner (a.k.a. Data):

Brent Spiner-ALO-058074And finally…I have no idea what this is. If someone can enlighten me, that’d be much appreciated:



  1. Time to drop some knowledge:

    The photo with the balls, the guy is dressed as a tanuki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanuki

    And the soda machine outfit was featured in a Japanese book of weird inventions, specifically for a woman to avoid male gropers (chikans).

  2. Brent Spiner is the creepiest thing on this page. Outside of his makeup, he looks like a serial killer/rapist/deranged Bond villain.

  3. The brown fuzzy creature with large testicles is a tanuki, or Japanese raccoon-dog, and the oversized balls are extremely necessary. They symbolize financial luck, and are often depicted being swung over the tanuki’s shoulder or used as drums.

    There was in fact a Transformer tanuki in the Japanese Beast Wars Neo series named Heinrad, whose balls were large for a Transformer but small for a tanuki. In robot mode, they transition outward and hang from his hips, with his spark crystal located in his right ball.

    Please refer here for more information:

  4. The guy to the left of Elvis is Lupin III, a manga character who is the “world’s greatest thief.”

    Hayao Miyazaki actually co-directed the first six episodes of the television series.


  5. I’m not 100% sure about this, but the guy to the right of Elvis is wearing a pompadour, a generic hair style popular with Japanese gangsters in the 80s.

  6. Keep those explanations and insights coming. Although if a woman has to dress up like a vending machine to avoid gropers, the Japanese are freakier than I thought. That’s the solution to that problem?!!

  7. Re: Banana guy caption. It’s been a minute and my rudimentary translation skills might be a tad off but, I believe it says, “Peel me. Now!”

  8. “…with his spark crystal located in his right ball”

    This is where I keep my spark crystal.

  9. and thats lupin III left of elvis.
    and that looks to be a white person nose disguise.

  10. At first I didn’t believe it but after some research here is a NYT article and some more pictures on the vending machine costume:



  11. The curly pompadour looks like a bōsōzoku… for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUtAKig382c

  12. The eyebrows/nose mask thing says “Nice Guy”, but.. I still don’t even