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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sapporo Zombie Walk 2011-10-30 ・ ゾンビ会議

Me in front of the TV tower.
On October 30, 2011, we had the Sapporo Zombie Walk (札幌ゾンビ・ウォーク) here in Sapporo. About 150 zombies gathered in Odori Koen park in the center of Sapporo and walked around for two hours. It was great.


I got up early and turned myself into a zombie using some quick and simple (since I did not have any time) things. A description of how I became a zombie can be found in another blog post.

Once I looked like a zombie I set off for Odori. There were some problems. First, I had smeared my hands with fake blood based on syrup, which sticks to everything. Trying to get out of my apartment without turning it into a bloodbath was tricky. Using elbows etc. in a surprisingly successful way, I managed to get out into the corridor and when trying to lock my door by holding my keys through my t-shirt (which was already covered in blood), someone came out from my neighbors apartment. I said hello, and he gave me an uninterested look and said nothing... Not surprised or anything... which was a bit disappointing.

There were a lot of bloody nurses at the event.

The elevator opens automatically, as does our front door, so the rest was not so difficult. Some people were staring when I walked through town towards the park, though. Once I got to the park, I started looking around for other zombies or the registration people for the event. I saw no one. No zombies. No other people. No one... Hmm, if I am here on the wrong day, this may turn a bit awkward, I thought. Then I spotted to nurses with huge amounts of blood on them and was a bit relieved. I also found the registration people soon afterwards. I was just early. I got zombie number 8 (the registration staff had the lower numbers themselves), so I was just early.


They had lots of registered people on a printout, and asked me for my name. I said "Jonas", and they asked when I had registered as a participant. "5 A.M. today". That helped, because then I would probably be on the last page. I was, but there were about 5 people who had registered even later.

More zombies arriving.

Zombies lining up to register.

After awhile, more and more zombies started arriving. An American guy came riding a bicycle in a full zombie outfit. He asked me what I had used to paint my face and I said I found makeup face paint at Donkihoote. He had not found any, so he had used stuff like building plaster and car paint to build his own zombie face... He was worried that it might not come off after the event was finished.

Me, my favorite zombie (and the most popular to take pictures with): the bride; and an American guy who was unsure if his makeup would come off.

Lots of people asked to take pictures (of me, but also of many of the other zombies). Both zombies taking pictures of each other, and random tourists visiting the park or Sapporo people passing by. I was quite popular since there were very few foreigners and since my blood looked very real. Many zombies only had makeup in their face, so I was complimented on my hands a lot. Having hand drenched in blood quickly turned my camera into a syrup covered camera that did not work that well (the shutter was hard to open), so it was not only good, though...

Receiving instructions.

When about 150 zombies had showed up there was an introductory speech by the organizer. He explained the rules: no walking on the grass, no pulling up flowers, no crossing the streets at a red light, no scaring innocent bystanders, no running like zombies in recent movies (Sapporo Zombie Walk are traditionalists). He also gave an overview of the plan for today: shuffle from Odori West 5 to Odori West 3, mill around at West 3 for 30 minutes posing for tourists, shuffle back to West 5. There was some quick zombie training: how to stare vacantly like a zombie, how to moan like a zombie, and how to walk like a zombie. Then we shuffled off towards West 3.

Lots of zombies, and even more people taking pictures of zombies. Including some of my friends from Poland.

Lots of people stopped to watch. Odori park is normally heavily trafficked, and there are also many big streets crossing through the park, and one of the largest shopping areas is located right by Odori West 3. It is also a popular tourist destination, where people take pictures of the park and the Sapporo TV Tower, located in Odori West 1.

Many people also showed up just to take pictures of the event (or friends participating). There were professional cameramen from the event itself too, as well as TV crews, freelance photographers, and whatnot. I was asked "Can I take a picture with you?" more than 100 times during the day I think. Other people were even more popular.

The event was a lot of fun. The organizers had prepared food (a mannequin) for zombies to eat etc.

After the event was over there was apparently a party where they ate zombie like food (sausages looking like fingers etc.) and watched zombie movies. They also voted on who was the cutest zombie, the scariest zombie, etc. but I did not have time to go to the party so I do not know how that went.

I had to go to a friend's Halloween Party instead. Getting there dressed as a zombie was a small adventure in itself (more about that in the next blog post).

Here are some of my pictures from the event:

Me.


My favorite.

This woman is eating a hand. She was also very good at walking like a zombie. Unfortunately, she was always moving so my picture is not so good.

A zombie with a knife (?) throught the chest.
Possibly the youngest zombie there.

Another foreigner, with very nice makeup for the chin damage.

This guy was really funny.
One of my favorites, the surgeon. He also had a zombie nurse with him.

The bride was the most popular zombie to have your picture taken with.
Another newly wedded zombie, checking her iPhone.
Another of my favorites, the pilot and stewardess team!

The pilot and stewardess zombies waiting in line with a French maid zombie.
The school girl zombie with a big plastic bag. She lugged it around all day. I wonder what was in it?

I have no idea what kind of zombie that is, but an A for effort!
I liked the yukata wearing zombies a lot. And looking at this photo now, I think I actually know the girl in red, though I did not recognize her at the time (and she not me either).

Apparently this (red clothed girl) is a character from the manga/anime Onepiece. Possibly a zombie character. Very cute girl.
The girl behind the bride had very very nice cuts opening up her mouth to three times its normal width. She also had great eye makeup. And a funny dress.

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