TOKYO — A British man based in Tokyo is spreading Christmas cheer in a very unique way.
Joseph Tame, who runs a small video production and digital media business, is dressing up as a Christmas tree — equipped with lights and decorations — and running through the streets of Japan’s capital.
“There are many areas of the city that are beautifully illuminated with Christmas decorations, but there are also areas where there are not, so I thought wouldn’t it be great to take the fun and wonder of these illuminations into those areas and spread the Christmas cheer,” he told CNN.
“I like to make people laugh and smile where they don’t expect it.”
Tame built the Christmas tree by using an aluminum frame wrapped with two rucksacks and inserting the branches from two fake Christmas trees into them. The costume required 99 batteries, 30 meters of wiring and 60 days to make.
“The reaction here on the streets have been amazing,” he said.
He starting dressing up last week and ventures out onto the city streets for several hours at a time.
“The reactions range from sudden burst of laughter to a couple of people have screamed in surprise and in delight,” he says. “A lot of people just say ‘What? What? What are you doing?’ And I tell them I’m being a Christmas tree.”
“Even as I speak to you now there’s a crowd of people taking photos and everybody wants to take photos with me. One of the main things is to break the social barriers. Tokyo is a great city but people keep to themselves. It brings people to get together. On the train, it’s just wonderful. Everybody is just transfixed.”
Tame previously gained attention in Japan by running in marathons wearing windmills on his head and cheering on other runners — all to put smiles on people’s faces, he says.
While Christmas isn’t a holiday that’s celebrated officially in Japan, Tame says he’ll be wearing his costume on Dec. 25 trying to spread the holiday spirit.
“Most people are working on Christmas Day in Japan but hopefully with the costume they can also see a bit of Christmas on the day,” he says.