There’s nothing like watching a guy without a pinky make cotton candy for you.
Up until relatively recently Halloween wasn’t all that big a deal in Japan. However, over the course of the past decade or so this seems to have dramatically changed. And perhaps there is no better evidence of this than a Halloween-themed event held this week by Japan’s largest organized crime group, the Yamaguchi-gumi.
The event in question took place on Tuesday (Oct. 31) right in front of the headquarters of the Yamaguchi-gumi in Kobe’s Nada Ward and lasted about three hours, starting at around 4:10 p.m. During this time members of the gang could be seen dressed up in Halloween themed attrire, such as jack-o-lantern T-shirts, passing out bags filled with treats, along with cotton candy which was made inside the Yamaguchi-gumi building.
Aside from the Halloween-themed attire, the gang members also made sure to get in the Halloween spirit by putting up decorations such as purple and orange lights, and jack-o-lantern and ghost inflatables. Gang members could also be heard saying things like “Happy Halloween,” “Take some snacks” and “Take pictures” to people attending the event.
According to police officers who were in the area in order to monitor the event, an estimated 800 people (including both children and their parents/guardians) went to the Yamaguchi-gumi headquarters to partake in the Halloween festivities. The event is thought to be part of an ongoing effort by the Yamaguchi-gumi meant to improve their image with the local community.
Interestingly, this is not the first time the Yamachi-gumi has held this sort of Halloween-themed event. However, this is the first time in two years that they were able to hold the yearly event at their headquarters. This is primarily due to the organization splitting into two groups in 2015. This split resulted in both the cancellation of the event in 2015 and the creation of a new group called the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi. In 2016, the group held the event at a nearby shrine, which if you think about it, is quite fascinating. A Halloween celebration held by yakuza at a Shinto shrine. Talk about complicated.