My Favorite Childhood Halloween Costume

Before the days of Man vs. Wild, Top Gun wingmen, and Dharma Initiative costumes, there was trick-or-treating. The primary objective was the acquisition of candy needed to last until Christmas. Costumes were simply the currency we exchanged for the candy.

I honestly don’t remember a lot of my childhood Halloween costumes, but a few stand out. My mom made elaborate Native American costumes one year, and there was another year when I made a very constricting robot costume out of a large box.

But looking back, I most affectionately remember dressing up as a Japanese businessman.

Yes, a Japanese businessman. Right now you should be asking yourself three questions:

  1. Why would a kid dress up as a businessman?
  2. Why a Japanese businessman?
  3. How did he pull it off without offending the neighborhood?

You may know that I studied abroad in Japan. But you probably don’t know that I started studying Japanese in seventh grade. My perception of Japan was that of a bustling economy with cool technology, so who better to represent the country than a Japanese businessman? (In hindsight, I don’t know why I didn’t choose a samurai, or, even better, a ninja.)

Perhaps my mother will scan a photo of me in the costume so you can see that there was nothing Japanese about it at all [update: she sent it!]. I was dressed in my first Communion suit and carried a briefcase. As I collected candy, I thanked people in Japanese–that’s it.

But still, how many kids dress up as a Japanese businessman for Halloween?

What was your favorite childhood Halloween costume?