[Myself as Kenshin, in Nagoya]
In the Fall of 2011, I really struggled to think about what I should be for Halloween. It’s not that I don’t have costumes, but I hadn’t brought any with me to Japan.
[Myself as Kenshin, praying at a small shrine near the university where I was teaching]
Then, one day, the perfect costume came to mind: Kenshin Himura, the samurai from a manga and TV series titled Rurouni Kenshin. The fact that my hair was the right color and length was probably what set me on the idea, but the fact that I was living in Japan and had access to used kimono shops made it all the better.
[Megan did a great job pulling together a Where's Waldo costume...an excellent for a traveler.]
But it didn’t seem that it would be quite as easy as I first expected. True, I picked up a reddish kimono for about a dollar (73 yen), and I owned a red eyebrow pencil that could be used to draw the trademark X-shaped scar, but what about the white hakama (samurai pants)?
[We also convinced Marie to come out with us at the last minute. I'm protecting her from unseen ninjas]
I searched high and low, but I couldn’t find one. Oddly enough, I was lamenting about the tragedy of my Halloween costume plans to a Japanese friend who was visiting from Tokyo, when he told me that he had a white hakama he could lend me. (Indeed, he shipped it to me immediately after returning to Tokyo, because he’s awesome.)
[Myself as Kenshin, standing under the red torii gates that lead up to a small shrine]
So, suddenly, I had myself a white hakama and a red kimono. A pair of flip flops were substituted for the traditional Japanese sandals, and the tabi socks were picked up at the market for 200 yen ($3). Finally, The Daiso, our local version of a dollar store, had plastic katanas on sale for Halloween. My outfit was complete.
[I think this might have been the door to some rich person's house...very jealous]
So when Megan came down from Izu, I was all ready to go out and celebrate Halloween. (We also drug Marie along!) And as for my students, they were sufficiently impressed with my Halloween attire, and we had a fun day of Halloween games and trick-or-treating.
[After a long day, Kenshin enjoys a nice, cool green tea latte, just like I do!]
I was the best Halloween I’d had in years. Thanks go out to Kasuga-kun for lending me the hakama and making the costume possible — katajikenai!!