NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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なまはげ Namahage Namahage

Jp En

Namahage is a folklore ritual held in the vicinity of Oga City, Akita Prefecture and takes place on New Years Eve every year.
Namahage appears wearing a demon mask, straw rain-cape, straw boots and holding a broad-bladed kitchen knife, wooden bucket and goheibo, a wooden stick to ward off evil spirits.
Namahage visits homes one at a time and asks “Are there any children crying? Is there a lazy wife here?” looking for lazy people in the houses. The head of a household treats the demon with the most hospitality.  After being entertained, the demon heads to the next house.
The word, Namahage, is said to come from the way lazy people were punished by scraping  off (hagasu)  a minor burn (namomi) which is caused by lazing around the fire at home while others work outside in the harsh winter weather.
The Northeastern area of Japan has many different versions of the Namahage ritual and legends.
This folklore ritual, which has been passed down since ancient times, is to punish lazy people as well as to pray for good health and happiness for children.
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おさごえ民家園 Osagoe-minka-en Osagoe Minka-en: old houses of wealthy farmers

Jp En

Osagoe Minka-en is a spacious culture park of 3700 square meters located at the foot of Mt. Usagoe in the southwest part of Fukui City. 6 old farmhouses of wealthy farmers built in the Edo period (around the 18th century) and warehouses, ash sheds and lavatories were transferred here. The three of them have gabled roofs, which were widely found in the central part of Echizen region and Ohno Valley in those days. Inside the house, the earth floor and the kitchen constitute one large space propped by large beams crisscrossing each other. This architectural style was peculiar to Echizen region, which is often attacked by heavy snowfall. You can tour inside the houses freely. The furniture and house utensils displayed here will tell you how they lived in those days. The houses were all specified as Cultural Properties.
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