Thanks to the popularity of American TV programs, Hollywood, and the internet, Japanese people became interested in Halloween towards the end of the 20th century. Seeing the commercial opportunities in this growing trend, shops and businesses in Japan also began to embrace Halloween, around the beginning of the 21st century. Since then it has become a yearly event and fits in with Japan’s already established obsession with ‘cosplay’ (i.e. ‘costume play’).
‘Cosplay’ is generally associated with Japanese ‘anime’ or animation, and many young Japanese people love dressing up as their favorite character from a popular TV or comic book animation series, such as ‘One Piece’, ‘Dragon Ball Z’, ‘Sailor Moon’, and so forth. The recent popularity of Halloween has seen a natural extension of this to incorporate traditional Halloween characters such as witches, black cats, ghosts, vampires, zombies, skeletons, monsters, and so on.