Burning Spirits

Special to The Japan Times

Who says Halloween isn’t popular in Japan? The Burning Spirits Halloween 2011 event will rock Shinjuku Antiknock on the scariest night of the year, with acts hand-picked to create a creepy but fun atmosphere. Expect bands and DJs made up like corpses, all offering themselves up to the night of the living dead. And it goes without saying that you can wear a costume yourself, with discounts available for those dressed to celebrate the night.

The event is organized by Tokuyuki Katsuta, singer of punk band PIMP, who will also perform. He wears his influences on his sleeve (and on his spiky red hair, and on the tattoos crawling all over his body). His taste is pure hardcore punk, raw and fast, and the event will center around veteran punk acts such as Hat Trickers and Worms’ Meat. But the bill also includes bands with a Goth and industrial flavor, perfectly suited to Halloween.

One of the highlights will be Baal, which transcends these genres by mixing heavy rock and electro sequencers. The band members call it “cybernetic heavy industrial rock,” and their unusual sound attracts many non-Japanese fans. The band has performed overseas in Germany and the Netherlands, and has even graced the cover of German Goth magazine Astan.

If the ear-piercing volume isn’t painful enough, then why not get a tattoo? Katsuta also owns ink parlor Tokyo Hard Core Tattoo, known for organizing the King of Tattoo convention — an event that attracts skilled tattoo artists from all over the world. So even though it’s Halloween, you don’t need to be scared.

Burning Spirits Halloween 2011 takes place at Antiknock in Shinjuku, Tokyo, on Oct. 31 (5 p.m.). Tickets are ¥1,900 plus one drink. Offers for those wearing costumes: free drink for “rank A” costume; free drink plus ¥900 discount for “rank B.” For more information, call (03) 3354-3843 or visit www.antiknock.net.