“Mundane Halloween” Is Back With Hilariously Boring Costumes, Here Are 35 Of The Best Ones Interview
While every year, it’s becoming harder and harder to come up with a standout Halloween costume (I mean, Heidi Klum just dressed as a giant worm!), some people take a more down-to-earth approach.
In fact, there’s a whole trend known as “Mundane Halloween” where people dress up as super ordinary things and embody very day-to-day situations. The tradition was started in 2014 by a group at Daily Portal Z who “kind of wanted to participate in the festivities of Halloween, but were too embarrassed to go all out in witch or zombie costumes,” and became particularly popular in Japan.
The idea is simple – instead of putting up a flashy and flamboyant costume that may earn everyone’s hearts but make you feel awkward and out of place, you don’t need anything special, really. The more mundane your look is, the better it is!
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The Mundane Halloween trend, also known as Jimi Halloween (地味ハロウィン), started back in 2014 and earned the hearts of people who were not willing to go bananas with their spooky costumes. In fact, the main idea of a mundane costume is to dress as casually as you can and incarnate into something super ordinary on purpose. Costumes also come with boring, everyday backgrounds and stories like spilling coffee or standing in a queue.
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To find out more about this whimsical Mundane Halloween trend, Bored Panda reached out to Johnny Waldman, artist, writer and founder of Spoon & Tamago, an international blog that is based out of New York City and Tokyo, Japan. Using his unique background and international perspective, Spoon & Tamago attempts to comprehensively cover all aspects of Japanese design from fine art and architecture to product and graphic design with an emphasis on authentically communicating Japanese arts & crafts to the world.
Waldman, who was born in Brooklyn but moved to Tokyo a year later, spent the first 18 years of his life growing up in Tokyo. He is currently based in Brooklyn but travels frequently to Tokyo and happily shared some insights into Japan’s Jimi ‘Mundane’ Halloween.
Waldman explained that although Japan does have its own subculture of dressing up in costumes known as “cosplay,” the idea of Halloween is a relatively new concept. “In America, Halloween is often seen as a way to be bold and expressive but generally speaking, Japan tends to be more restrained and subdued,” the founder of Spoon & Tamago explained.
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“So Jimi ‘Mundane’ Halloween was sort of this perfect middle ground for people who felt uncomfortable going all out in zombie costumes but still wanted to participate in the festivities,” Waldman added.
“I think the point of dressing up as something super ordinary is to poke fun at ourselves by highlighting the awkward or silly, yet ultimately relatable situations we find ourselves in every day,” he concluded.
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Daily Portal Z, an online website, is responsible for initiating the Mundane Halloween trend. Their main goal was to have fun and celebrate Halloween in a way that doesn’t require people to wear awkward and uncomfortable looks.
In a previous interview with Bored Panda, Yuji Hayashi, the webmaster of Daily Portal Z, said that he was surprised to see so many people around the world picking up on the trend. “I thought it was just a Japanese domestic joke, so I was surprised that people in the US and UK were talking about it on Twitter.”
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“All the participants struggle with ideas for costumes every year. But I think they enjoy thinking about it. Stores, train stations, and people working in the city all become role models for the costumes,” Hayashi said.
Now that the Mundane Halloween seems to be overtaking Twitter and other social media platforms, Hayashi loves that the phenomenon is such a success. “We don't have any claim to any rights regarding Jimi Halloween. We want people to hold it at work or school or with their neighbors. It is also held in Taiwan. We'd love to have it in the US too!”