What was I, you ask? Well let's see how well you pay attention:
He is none other than Hokkaido's mirthful ball of excited algae, Marimokkori! Since I brought it up last year, however, I have noticed that the mokkori madness has caught like wildfire all across the nation with local flavors galore. The first of these fellows I ran across was one from Nikko, which is quite well known for its monkeys... which is in turn why I just had to go there. Next I noticed it up in Sendai, where they had a Date Masamune version which I dubbed Date mokkori. Then this past month when I was down in Ishigaki I saw what seems to be the next level of mokkorism. They have taken the traditional Okinawan Shiisa and mokkorified it to bring you: Shiisa mokkori. Old men shiver and look away as babies run in fear from... Shiisa mokkori.
...ok yeah, they tried to make it as cute as they could, but in the end it's still a lion-dragon thingie with a boner.
So anyway, that was Halloween - more pics, as always, can be found at my flickr page. Now that Halloween is over, of course, this can mean only one thing in Japan: it's Christmas season. Back home there's that nice buffer of Thanksgiving between the two commercial juggernauts that are Halloween and Christmas, but over here we are not afforded such a privilege and are thus subjected to pretty much straight commercialism from last month all the way through Valentine's Day, and probably beyond if I think about it.
Luckily for me, I'm too busy with work to focus on it too much... thank God.