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Happiness According to Idol Fans #4 : Making the Pilgrimage to Idol Events During the Holiest of Seasons
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Happy New Year! Now that 2017 has finally arrived, have you sent out any tweets to say the same to your favorite idols? Or with too much free time on my hands, am I the only one?!

In any case, you might find it strange, but one of Japan’s unique customs is where idol fans spend their Christmas and New Year’s holidays with idols (over family and friends).

Moreover, there are a number of idol events put on for Halloween, too. They’re not just limited to Halloween and Christmas Day. For those that work during the week, it’s easy to find one going on over the weekend, too.

Although while it may not matter for Halloween, in regards to Christmas, Japan is a polytheistic country so you’ll have to forgive us in advance.

As far as Halloween events go, I attended one put on by Niji no Conquistador on October 22, 2016. I’ve heard that most people abroad celebrate Halloween on the 31st, so this might strike you as a little early!

Besides Niji no Conquistador, the event also featured Stereo Tokyo, BiS, BELLRING Shoujo Heart, and Maison book girl. Stereo Tokyo took the stage in kigurumi designed by the members as part of a collaborative project. Of course, none of their faces were visible!

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Also, at some point during the show, a guy dressed like a girl who was crowdsurfing suddenly fell and hit his head, and it started bleeding. So that’s how my Halloween went. In Japan, people get excited just to dress up during Halloween time.

On December 24, Christmas Eve, I went to Yufu Terashima’s fanclub event. Since Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday, with Christmas on Sunday, there were a lot of Christmas idol events that took place over both days.

At Yufu Terashima’s event, she didn’t make the usual Christmas cake, but daifuku mochi instead. Not just her, but all of us fans. Daifuku mochi are a kind of Japanese dessert. They’re rice cakes filled with sweet bean paste.

I tried to make her one that looked like her favorite character, Pom Pom Purin, but I wasn’t able to recreate any of the character’s features, and the result came out terrible. Here’s a picture so you can judge just how bad it came out for yourselves.

pom-pom-purin-daifuku

The real Pom Pom Purin looks like this (right).

After the event, I went out to a pub with some other fans. I hadn’t put in an order for a Christmas cake, nor are Christmas cakes something you’ll find on the menu at your local pub.

I spend the New Year’s countdown at one of Yufu Terashima’s events, too. It was held from December 31st to January 1st.

However not only did idol fans attend, but their children, too. New Year’s is a time where people visit and spend time with their families, so there were a lot of idol fans doing just that, and for this reason most idol events were completely full.

Speaking of which, there were so many newcomers at Yufu Terashima’s countdown event that at first not everyone could get in, and just like that 2017 was off to a good start. Before I knew it, I was already taking my first polaroid (cheki) of the year.

So as you can see, from autumn time in Japan, there are a number of special seasonal idol events going on.

However, since Halloween is still somewhat of a superficial holiday in Japan, there are many people who take to the streets of Shibuya in costume looking to make a ruckus. It may just be an excuse for seek out a wild time with others.

Compared to that, those attending their first Halloween idol event will probably find the behavior of idol fans much different (ignoring the aforementioned bloodshed). So if you have the opportunity to visit Japan between autumn and winter, by all means, I hope you’ll come out to an event. I sincerely mean it!

To all of you fans out there I hope that this year, 2017, will be one where all your idol fan wishes are fulfilled!

Translated by Jamie Koide


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Author
munekata
munekata

Born in 1972, Akimasa Munekata is a music critic who has written for MUSIC MAGAZINE and Record Collectors for rock in Japan after HAPPY END, pop, the flow of western rock and pop after Beach Boys, world music, and folk music. Recently, he has hopped on the bandwagon and begun writing about idols as well.

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