NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


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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Oga City, Akita Prefecture, 010-0500

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