Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ask And You Shall Receive (or faint...)

Just when I thought I was going to have to resign myself to the fact that Halloween 2008 was going to be pumpkinless, today the parents of a couple of my students came bringing me a "little" present:

Miracle Pumpkin

Apparently they have a relative who has a more or less wild pumpkin patch in a plot next to his fields. They don't have much use for them, so they give them to whoever wants them.

They asked me if I wanted more. I told them I could probably be talked into it. ;-)

Yes, sometimes miracles do happen.

UPDATE: Here is the Jack o' Lantern I (just) made from the pumpkin in the above pic:

2008 JoL-1

As you can see, I made use of the warts. :-)

I didn't have enough time to carve the second pumpkin, which is about the same size, so I hope to do it tomorrow.

Update Two: Here is the second pumpkin, post-carving. As you can see, it's not quite as "pretty" as the first, so I went a slightly different direction theme-wise:

2008 JoL-2a

Still, when the lights go out and the (Yankee) candle is lit inside, you have to admit the effect is pretty good:

2008 JoL-2b

Oh, and by the way; this was my Halloween costume this year:

The Black Minstrel

It was one of the things I picked up for a discount at the Carrefour in Makuhari. I'd say it was a success. On Halloween I put it on and walked around Ye Olde Academy...and seriously freaked out a lot of kids (and not few teachers). The high point was when I heard a bunch of Grade 9 students in choral practice. I waited till the song was done, stepped into the doorway facing them, and was greeted with a lovely chorus of shrieks.

Now THAT'S what I call Halloween! ;-)


  • That is better than a store bought pumpkin anyway. The wild look might hold some better carving possibilities anyway. Good luck!

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 4:14 PM  

  • i think you have a little fairy following you around... and he's decided to grant your wish! :)

    poor little pumpkin has warts... ;) hey.. maybe that'll keep the witch from your house!

    i agree... i think the home grown varieties are better, and, imagine, you're gonna get more!!!

    do you guys usually carve every year? i want to see pictures!!!!

    By Blogger Um Naief, at 9:10 PM  

  • Hehe, oh goodie!

    I hope you do get more so you can carve them with your kids.

    By Blogger Olivia, at 3:10 AM  

  • What a GIANT orange pumpkin. Here’s a Dancing Pumpkin song to you. Please carve a dancing one to celebrate Halloween Party, not dancing banana. ;-p

    By Blogger PinkPanther, at 6:10 PM  

  • Snabudon
    It certainly looks more wicked than a store-bought pumpkin!

    Um Naief
    Well, that little faerie just granted me another one: I found another massive pumpkin sitting by the staff entrance when I arrived at work this morning!

    I plan to carve them tomorrow. I'll post a pic!

    So do I. They're green with envy right now.

    Welcome back!
    That was a nice, little song! I wonder who the singer was. There's no credit on the site for it (only for the writer and producer). Her voice reminded me of one of the Celtic Woman singers.

    My hands are bananas!
    My head is a pumpkin!

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 5:40 PM  

  • Ooh, I love the orange color. At first glance, I thought it was an orange. The ones we have here are the greenish type and they are not quite as round. Ours are flatter in shape. I like the one you have and you now have two. Yay!

    Looking forward to the pictures. Happy Halloween!

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 6:08 PM  

  • Orange?

    By Anonymous Colorman, at 1:34 PM  

  • Wow! I love that, wart and all! You are good, MM. Can't wait to see when it's all lit up.

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 3:10 PM  

  • Magnificent Jack o' Lantern! Kudos.

    At Halloween I always think of the Peanuts cartoon with Linus scooping out the seeds of a pumpkin and Lucy exclaiming "I didn't know you were going to kill it!"

    Excellent use of the um... beauty marks.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 6:11 PM  

  • Happy Halloween's Day with your kids!

    beauty marks ????? ugly & horror.

    By Anonymous Spirit, at 4:50 PM  

  • i just love the pumpkin!! you really do a good carving job!

    love the eyes on this guy, and the wart is perfect! everything about it is great!

    hope you guys had a good Halloween!

    By Blogger Um Naief, at 7:39 PM  

  • Love the pumpkins...we didn't get around to doing ours until Halloween afternoon!....I think Snabby will take some pics...maybe send'em over...

    Then we'll watch ROCKY HORROR Baby! I'm going to SF soon and will be seeing the stage version w/an old college friend-I'm SO looking forward to it!

    By Blogger ladybug, at 11:29 AM  

  • Cool

    By Blogger QUASAR9, at 5:07 PM  

  • PS - hard to imagine that in Japan there is still land where pumpkins grow wild - and with no commercial use.

    Mind you one can only have so much pumpkin soup. If it weren't for halloween I wonder what pumpkin growers in the uk & US would grow.

    By Blogger QUASAR9, at 5:08 PM  

  • Happy day after halloween
    If halloween is All hallows
    is today All Saints?

    By Blogger QUASAR9, at 5:09 PM  

  • MM, I really had a good laugh at that all-black costume. Oops! What were you supposed to be besides scaring the sh*t out of the kids? Freaking scary! No black gloves? You know, I never knew adults get into the action too. I thought Halloween is just for kids.

    Hey, I kinda like the second pumpkin too. It's very sci-fi, sort of. Great job! Thanks for sharing all that. It must have been rather memorable this year?

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 7:54 PM  

  • Um Naief
    I really got funky with the pumpkins this year. Usually I do a more traditional job, which is certainly much quicker. These took about two hours each to carve. I was just thankful I had them!

    Rocky Horror LIVE??!? Wow...that must get even crazier than the movie!

    The Japanese do eat pumpkins (quite a bit, actually), but the local ones are small, green, and nearly solid. They're more like a squash than a pumpkin in Western thinking (though a pumpkin really is a kind of squash anyway, I guess). I don't know why that particular farmer wound up with a semi-wild pumpkin patch on his property. Maybe someone gave him (or his ancestors) some Western-style pumpkins and he didn't know what to do with them, so he just dumped them in an empty corner. Voila! Nature did the rest!

    All Saints Day doesn't seem to get that much recognition in the U.S. (since the Catholic Church is just one of many rather than the main power). The Japanese haven't even heard of it. I have a ball every year explaining to my 7th grade students about the Celtic balance of the Worlds of Light and Dark, the Day of the Dead, the coming of (Catholic) Christianity to the Celtic parts of the British Isles, wearing costumes to throw vengeful ghosts off your trail, young people using it as an opportunity to be naughty, the bribery people resorted to to get those punks off their back, how that became "Trick or treat," how the costumes somehow mutated from spooky (ghosts, vampires, etc.) to cute (Snow White, Pikachu, etc.), how kids nowadays aren't allowed to have any fun, etc...

    What was even more interesting was that, after my Celtic culture and history lesson i.e. Halloween, we had a guest speaker come to our school who identified himself as a "Celtic Japanese" (C.W. Nichol, a Welsh writer/environmentalist/karate expert who holds Japanese citizenship.)

    I know...I needed black gloves and didn't have any!

    Adults often wear costumes for Halloween. We just wear them to fun events rather than trick or treating. And yes, scaring the sh*t out of the kids (and teachers) was the whole point...and I'd call it a big success!

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 2:36 PM  

  • all in black?

    By Anonymous colorman, at 5:52 PM  

  • NDAU!!!!!?

    By Anonymous Ndau, at 9:42 PM  

  • Darth Maximus, Japanese Sith lord.

    By Anonymous dave, at 9:37 AM  

  • Hi Kevin,
    LOVE the pumpkin carving. I can picture the oohs and aahs of the other teachers as you carved it...How did you get those teeth that perfect without breaking any?
    Really super creative!
    p.s. I hope you're brushing the guy's teeth...

    By Anonymous Jeffu, at 12:20 PM  

  • oh...and I like the costume too. Especially the way you are standing in the genkan! Who took that picture and were you smiling? he he...

    By Anonymous Jeffu, at 12:21 PM  

  • love, love your costume!!! would have loved to see the reactions. that's the best!

    your pumpkin here is fabulous. so eerie. i know... it takes a long time to carve pumpkins, especially when doing what you've done. great work!

    love this post!! :)

    By Blogger Um Naief, at 2:49 AM  

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