halloween

30 hours of pumpkin carving! The making of my anime fan art jack-o’-lantern【Photos & video】

Every year for Halloween I carve a pumpkin for myself and for the trick-or-treaters to enjoy, usually based on a popular Hollywood movie with costume potential. To commemorate my post at RocketNews24, however, for this year’s jack-o’-lantern I chose my first ever anime theme! I went with one of my favorites from this fall’s line-up, Gugure! Kokkuri-san (繰繰れ!コックリさん), available on Crunchyroll.

Both heartwarming and twisted (for the non-anime-initiated), the series is an outrageously wacky, slice-of-life comedy adapted from a four-panel comic strip by Midori Endō. The large cast is led by Kokkuri-san and the young girl Kohina; the former is a motherly, lonely fox spirit (originally from J­apanese folklore) with both human and animal forms, and the latter is a hardcore bocchi (loner) with a cup noodle addiction who claims to be an emotionless doll.

Read on to learn a little more about the show and the design process, as well as to get a nicer view of the lit-up pumpkin. There’s also a time lapse video that condenses 30 hours of carving into just over 11 minutes!

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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu dresses up as the Corpse Bride, bumps into Tim Burton

How can anyone not love Kyary Pamyu Pamyu? She’s cute, kooky, and occasionally ooky – and she recently dressed up as Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride! Kyary shared several snaps on her official Twitter account of herself getting made up as the Corpse Bride, hitting the streets for some spooky fun, and even meeting the great man himself!

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Funasshi’s unofficial mascot Satosshi celebrates Halloween 2014 in his own special way!【Photos】

The inimitable Mr. Sato is such a big fan of Funasshi, the unofficial jiggly pear mascot of Funabashi City, that he even created his own mascot-to-the-mascot, Satosshi. This Halloween, Satosshi decided to head down to the famous Shibuya crossing to make friends with fellow costume-wearing Tokyoites.

Might there be other, kindred spirit Funasshi fans there? Will Satosshi be busted as an unofficial impersonator? Could Mr. Sato’s journalistic efforts be thwarted by a sudden attack of deadline confusion? And worse still, what if no one recognises him? Join us after the jump for a photo report from Satosshi’s big night out.

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Volunteers clean up Tokyo after huge Halloween party, get called hypocrites for their service

This year, Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood made a major push to establish itself as the place to celebrate Halloween in Japan’s capital. Things got off to a pretty low-key but still impressively creative start with a costume contest on one of the local train lines, but that was nothing compared to how jumping Shibuya was on the night of October 31.

Unfortunately, when you funnel that many people into one place, some of them are going to exhibit some pretty poor manners, as evidenced by the mounds of litter some revelers left behind. In response, volunteers sprang into action cleaning up the trash, but instead of a pat on the back for their hard work, some Twitter users decided to take them to task for what they felt was a shameless play for attention.

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Mannequin prankster returns for more Halloween fun on the streets of Osaka

Last year, we introduced you to the Mannequin Guy, a 2m tall (6,6″) American dude living in Japan who took to the streets on Halloween 2013 to give passersby a scarily good laugh. Well, we’re happy to report that Mannequin Guy returned again this Halloween, and there’s even a video compilation of all the best bits of his routine!

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A little late for Halloween, here are some haunted photos from Thailand

So we might be a little late to the party on this one – on account of being at other parties that involved a lot of drinking – but we’re still taken with the Halloween spirit, and it looks like Thailand is too, because we managed to scrounge up a bunch of spooky, possibly “haunted” photos from the area recently.

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Shibuya celebrates Halloween 2014 with crazy costumes and huge crowds

While you might not see a lot of trick or treaters out in Japan, if you find yourself in Tokyo, specifically Shibuya, you’re sure to see some original and inspiring costumes. Let’s take a look at some of the best homemade and store-bought costumes spotted in Shibuya this Halloween.

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Go to hell: Unzen Hot Springs invites visitors to take an infernal stroll through a field of deadly hell-mouths

Welcome to Unzen, Kyushu, a sulphurous field of geothermal activity so inhospitable to life that its boiling hot springs and gas jets go by the name of jigoku or hells. This Halloween, allow us to be your Virgil and guide you through this strange world where eerie noises drift from hellish craters, clouds of foul-smelling gas confuse the mind and Christian martyrs were once boiled to death!

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Happy Halloween! Time to decorate your persimmon!

As we’ve discussed earlier, Japan has been really getting into the Halloween spirit as the years go on. However, there are still a few Halloween traditions that aren’t easy to carry out. While Japan loves any excuse to cosplay, you still won’t find many, if any, children going door-to-door in their neighborhood begging for candy come October 31. You can, of course, find good ole orange pumpkins in Japan for some Japanese-style Jack o’ lantern carving, but they aren’t available everywhere and can be quite expensive. Japanese pumpkins (kabocha), on the other hand, are too meaty and tough to elegantly cut designs out of. So what’s a Halloween-loving resident of Japan to do? Decorate persimmons, of course!

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Tokyo’s Shibuya holds its first Halloween costume contest aboard a train, we ride along

Back before Halloween became as popular in Japan as it is today, Tokyo expats looking to celebrate the holiday would stage impromptu costume parties on the last car of the JR Yamanote loop line. At the time, though, most Japanese people weren’t familiar with Halloween, and this tended to freak the indigenous locals out, leading Japan Railways to eventually crack down on the festivities.

Things have changed a lot in the last 15 years, though. Tokyo is starting to seriously get into the Halloween spirit, so much so that another rail company, Tokyu, actually held a Halloween costume contest onboard one of its trains, and we went to check it out.

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Celebrate Halloween with our recipe for jack-o’-lantern nikuman steamed buns【RocketKitchen】

Growing up, every year as Halloween approached, I could feel a sense of dread creeping up on me. It wasn’t the prospect of being hunted by werewolves or getting lost in a haunted house that frightened me, though.

I was terrified that someone would give me raisins when I went trick-or-treating.

Honestly, I understand that some people don’t approve of eating nothing but candy on Halloween, and there’s a valid point in trying to balance out your diet on All Hallows’ Eve. Do you have to do it with something as soulless as raisins, though, especially when you could use our recipe to whip up some tasty and jack-‘o-lantern steamed buns instead?

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Frozen’s Olaf spotted out and about on the Tokyo subway

Because of its time zone, holidays come to Japan several hours sooner than the rest of the world. Last weekend, Halloween came especially early, though, with parades of costumers being held in both Kawasaki and Tokyo’s Roppongi.

But even as Halloween continues to become more and more popular in Japan, one thing that hasn’t changed is the way most people get around by public transportation. Just about everyone takes the subway, whether you’re a student, businessperson, or living snowman from Disney’s Frozen.

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How to make Ghost Forest Yakisoba and haunt your noodles for Halloween

Japanese cooking can be a little tricky, since many recipes involve a lot of complex prep work. Yakisoba, though, is a snap. The stir-fried noodle dish is quick and easy, and unlike more rigidly traditional Japanese fare, there’s a lot of room for putting your own spin on it by fiddling with the standard ingredient list of pork, carrots, and cabbage.

For example, with a few simple tweaks for Halloween you can whip up an awesome batch of Ghost Forest Yakisoba.

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Adorable character hot pots are this fall’s kawaii-est foods

No country does cute food better than Japan, and the latest trend in adorable edibles is fall hot pots stuffed with cute characters that look way too good to eat!

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Late to the game, but Japan does Halloween right【Video】

Ask any Westerner what’s so special about October 31 and you will get the same answer: Halloween – a modern-day version of the ancient Celtic harvest festival Samhain. In Japan, however, October 31 was just any old day until fairly recently, with the haunted hijinks never really catching on until a few years ago.

But here’s the kicker: the Japanese might already be doing Halloween better than we do! 

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Yo-kai Watch mania has even reached the vegetable world! Here’s a Halloween pumpkin roundup!

There are still two weeks to go until Halloween, but pumpkin-carving in Japan is already in full swing! And it looks like it’s the new kid on the anime block, Yo-kai Watch, that’s getting all the jack-o-lantern attention this year.

When I used to teach kids in Japan, there were some elementary students who, upon being given a worksheet, would immediately turn any circle on the page into Doraemon’s face. Now, it seems, the face of choice to draw (or indeed carve) into any empty circular space is Jibanyan’s!

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Disney characters dress up as Bearbricks for Halloween, results range from cute to disturbing

Okay, Rocketeers, it’s time for another round of Cute or Creepy? Earlier this month we looked at some key chains made out of dried sea cucumbers that clearly fell into the latter category. The deck was kind of stacked against them, though, seeing as how most of us don’t really think of the spineless sea creatures as particularly cute to star with.

Today, we’re looking at something a little more visually appealing: Disney characters, and not just any old Disney characters, as Mickey and his pals are all dressed up for Halloween. What’s more, the whole gang is bear-shaped, thanks to a collaboration with toy line Bearbrick.

How could this be anything other than completely adorable? Allow us to show you.

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Tokyo Disney’s pitch-black Halloween snacks look even weirder in real life

Remember that jet-black hot dog Tokyo Disney Sea announced for Halloween this year? Well, we’ve unearthed some pictures of the actual product, and boy, are they nasty.

What’s more, the Black Sausage has been joined by another, even more distressing item – the Black Gyoza Dog, a hot snack so hellish-looking we can’t believe it made it past the product testing phase. It looked pretty weird in Disney’s promotional shots (above), but it looks even more disturbing in real life!

Join us after the jump for a closer look at the reality of this year’s Halloween Disney food. It’s even more shudder-inducing than we expected!

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KFC Japan’s pumpkin biscuits ready to become tasty Halloween treats

Recently, Japanese branches of McDonald’s and Burger King have been getting into the Halloween spirit with spooky black burgers infused with squid ink and bamboo charcoal. This is a problem for KFC, though, since both of those ingredients are a little too exotic to mix with the Colonel’s traditional set of 11 herbs and spices.

Since KFC can’t celebrate Halloween by embracing its dark side, the most popular fried chicken outlet in Japan is instead turning to the holiday’s other icon by offering pumpkin biscuits.

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Disney villains have never been sweeter — they’re now beautiful mini-cakes!

What’s evil yet sweet and a delight to pop into your mouth? Well the newest tempting items from Japanese confectioner Cozy Corner’s Disney cake collection certainly fit the description. Yes, for Halloween this year, some of Disney’s notable villains have transformed themselves into gorgeous mini-cakes, and by the looks of things, we have to say Disney magic probably doesn’t get much sweeter than this!

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