Photo from JapanProbe
Happy Halloween!!! Here at Chapel Hill we always have several thousand people dress up and roam Franklin Street during the festivities. I’ll post pics lata if you’re interested. While they don’t go all out for the holiday in Japan, in the last couple of years drunk foreigners and Japanese residents have dressed up in full costume and have partied on the Yamanote Halloween Train. The event got it’s name because the train is on the Yamanote line. A secret time and platform is selected and posted online or sent by email by organizers and people show up to get on the train car and party. Participants try to say that the event is not just a booze-fueled party, but it’s also a way to protest the overcrowded cattle cars that are the Tokyo trains.
This year the event was set for Saturday night, but then megaforum 2ch.net discovered the post that told what time the event was going down and translated the information into Japanese. Japanese blogs exploded with anti-foreigner comments several violent and calling for Japanese people to contact the police and arrest all of the foreign “rioters.” Comments against gaijin left on JapanProbe were so nasty that many of them had to be removed by the administrator. James said, “I’ve had to remove a lot of racist and ugly comments from this site since I started Japan Probe, but yesterday’s 2channeler comments were probably the most hateful, stupid, and childish I have ever encountered.”
It still is not clear what exactly happened Saturday night, but apparently despite the backlash, some people were still able to go on the trains. There were two Yamanote trains this year. (Japundit is reporting that this is because organizers sent out a mass email changing the location to Ikebukuro due to the leaking of the original location at Shinjuku. Meanwhile someone else sent out a public notice setting the event in Shinjuku.) One train started at Ikebukuro station and the other at Shinjuku station. Read David Weber from Japundit’s full post of his experience that night.