View Full Version : Japanese haunts having a record year...

Dark Attraction
09-03-2010, 09:20 PM
...and you might be surprised to find out why


Jim Warfield
09-03-2010, 10:48 PM
Doesn't sound like it from the article. People seeming to get cooled off from fear sweats?
Or maybe just very distracted from the heat by the scares?
Almost every summer before I had some A.C. here when afternoon customers would show up I would offer them a wine cellar tour of us going immeadiately, directly, to that 52 degree underground room...and nobody ever wanted to do this! ?
I sure could tell them the haunted history of this house in the wine cellar when above ground it was 98 degrees and humid!
If only a bus load of Japanese tourists had shown up!

09-04-2010, 06:08 AM
I hope that's a good sign America's own obake yashiki's!


Jim Warfield
09-04-2010, 01:17 PM
..if you follow what they did precicely, "Tell them a scary story." There goes your "Through-put"!

09-07-2010, 08:55 AM
That is a pretty neat cutral diffrence. I wonder if they do Halloween like we do since japan adopted some of our holidays. If they do then it means they get 2 haunt seasons??? that would be nice.

Jim Warfield
09-07-2010, 11:33 PM
They lead the world in annual suicides.
30,000! a year! BBC news, today.

Burger King was sold, their business was down, it seems their main customers are/were young men...who no longer have jobs.
Anybody concerned about this October's numbers?

Randy Schadel
09-17-2010, 06:45 AM
Japan does in effect have two different haunt seasons with two different 'flavors'. The summer Obon festival haunts (where the spirits of the deceased return to their homes) are usually put on by Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, although as mentioned in the article theme parks have climbed on board recently. They specialize in traditional Japanese obake (roughly 'spirits') and yokai (roughly 'monsters) such as the 'long necked woman' (not Linda Lovelace), kappa (water spirits and effectively Japan's version of the vampire legend), and onryo (evil vengeful spirits as seen in the Ring films). As mentioned in the article, traditionally they're said to 'cool off' people by sending chills down their spine, and as a certain gorgeous Japanese doctor has told me, there have been studies she's read in Japanese medical journals that bear this out (something to do with the adrenaline rush in effect cooling down the body).

During October the big theme parks like Universal Osaka will put on 'traditional' American style haunts using movie characters and themes based on American/European culture. They're just like the ones put on in the American parks, with one difference I'll mention later. Some of the parks run Western-style attractions year 'round, like (of course) the Haunted Mansion in Tokyo Disney. I believe Larry The K did an install for a Western-style haunt in a Kobe amusement park a few years ago, but I'm not sure if it's still there.

The haunt news isn't all good in Nihon, though. Ayame told me that the excellent haunted samurai village at Toei Studios Eigamura (Movieland) shut down for good in January after having been around for decades. This was an indoor haunt that had detail and atmosphere that matched the best American haunts (being put on by a movie studio). You roamed through a 1600's era Japanese village that had been destroyed by demons-it had caverns, gardens, wrecked houses, video, mechanical effects, superb lighting and sound, and crowds of cute schoolgirls going through. If you've played the video game series Onimusha, it looked a lot like that (except for the schoolgirls ^_^). The park has received a lot of requests to reopen the event, and it's still on their website, but we haven't been there yet to confirm its rebirth. You can see a pic of the facade on Jidai-geki legend Brick McBurly's page about half down:


The most interesting difference in Japanese haunts vs. Western haunts are the approaches taken by the actors. Invading personal space in Japan is a cultural no-no (even though you'd never know it when you're packed into a bus or subway like a sardine), so haunt actors usually won't get any closer than three or so feet away. You tend not to get an intense, in your face experience in Japanese haunts. And because Japanese tend to be very well behaved, the haunt actors are more apt to do things a lot of Western actors can't do safely-crawl on the floor, wear costumes that restrict their arms, lay themselves in the middle of the path and play dead. They don't have to worry about being kicked, assaulted, stepped on, etc, like would often happen in the States.