Hamish Downie’s News Sushi #119: Morsels of News From Japan and Beyond

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Editor Note:It is Friday and that means it is time for the World Famous, soon to be Intergalactic Famous, News Sushi from our very own, Hamish Downie. Hamish brings us a decidedly different slant on Pop Culture as viewed through the lens of a non-native living in Japan.

Thank you (ありがとうございました) Hamish, for your insights.

こんにちは!Which means “Hello”!

Believe it or not, I’ve never really celebrated Halloween. Until recently, it wasn’t really celebrated in Australia and Japan.
But, this year, with the Great Pause really getting to me, I’ve decided that I need something to look forward to. I’m going to celebrate Halloween this month. Which has involved, thus far, buying some faux pampas grass and giving my apartment an Autumn theme, hanging up some Jack Skelington decorations, and buying loads to chocolates for my partner and myself. And, of course, watching some Halloween themed movies and reading some halloween themed poems.

For starters, here’s Andrea Van Soyoc reading her Dark Poetry for Dark Souls:

For more content, please check out:


Not to be left out, I wrote a little Halloween poem of my own, “The Halloween Grinch”

When I was a young’un,
And I watch’d Linus a politikin’,
His friends and mates into the cult of –
The Great Pumpkin –
I was in the ol’ New Holland,
where none of us celebrated all hallows eve,
save the Catholics,
who were banned from my great-grandpa’s house for calling,
his first born a word they used to call the kinder of
an unwed couple; all because an anglican minister married them,
at a time when that’s all that was goin’ ’round; later,
the second son would call the first son, “Number Nought” –
For they said he should ne’er been born,
His wife would’ve agreed.

In the land of terra nulus, that was full of people,
we only watched halloween celebrations on TV,
save for a couple of nasty neighbourhood kids who
just wanted candy, and and excuse,
to pour shaving cream all over the houses of the neighbourhood,
none of whom celebrated the autumn festival,
which fell in spring down under.
Me ma’ said, it just wasn’t the done thing.

Flash forward, as an adult, and it was popularised,
by those wanting and excuse to be creative.
By then, I was a drag queen, and we used to call it –
Amateur hour.
Let the laypeople have their night. We do this every week.

Then, I moved to the land of the rising sun,
Because the sun rises in the east, and this land was at one time,
romantically called the far east,
But, the world has since lost it’s romance,
And I was teaching the kinder of Japan to speak English,
Supposedly with an American twang,
but, they all sounded like nasally Aussies,
and come the height of fall, october 31st,
the grinch of Halloween,
was forced to celebrate,
with a costume fished out of the back of the store,
a giant pumpkin, no less,
but, through the joy of those kids,
the grinch learned to enjoy,
begrudgingly, but never-the-less enjoy,
all hallows eve.


Pre-pause, you might be interested to know that in Japan, there was a Mundane Halloween movement. People got dressed up as ordinary people (not the movie) in ordinary situations (may cause stress):

Girl at Food Court with Nowhere to sit (2019)

Guy at Optometrist who gets mistaken for Staff (2019)

Person at Convenience Store in the Middle of the Night (2019)

Guy who got woken up by Amazon Delivery (2019)

What are you wearing for Halloween? Tell us in the comments below!


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