Halloween is now a booming business in Japan. Like Christmas, the sweets shops concoct cute treats for the holiday. The holiday is strictly commercial. Halloween costume parties (and Christmas parties) are ever popular. Still, it’s just a reason to celebrate and have a good time.
There is no trick or treating on Halloween. Growing up in Tokyo, my friends and I would trick or treat in “gaijin” (foreign) compounds. The lucky kids were those who had connections on to the US military bases. They were the kids who got real American candy from the States.
Some Japanese children are aware of the American tradition. One of my Japanese friends teaches English to children in Southern Japan. Her students asked if they’d get Halloween candy on October 31st. Her answer was an emphatic no. “This is Japan.”