Oga Akita Sightseeing Guide

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Oga's Namahage

"On New Year's Eve, Namahages dressed up in KEDE, with Deba knifes and KWANDE, go around houses shouting out “Are there any crybabies here? Any kids who don’t listen to their parents?” and “Does the woman of the house wake up early?” This ritual was listed as UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage in 2018. In winter, spending a long time around the hot open hearth causes the hands and feet to blister. In Akita Dialect, these are called Namomi. “Peeling off the blisters” (Namomihagi) is a metaphor for avoiding laziness, and over time, the word became Namahage.
n an inimitable throaty scream, the Namahage encourage and order these newcomers to work and study hard, and obey their parents or in-laws.
Other household members ""protect"" their relatives, assuring the Namahage that they are good people. The Namahage are then offered with a little sake and some food.
999 Stone Stairs and the Namahage, Legend has it that the Han emperor brought five demonic ogres with him to Japan a little more than two millennia ago. These oni, as they are most commonly called in Japanese, stole crops and young women from Oga's villages. Namahage Sedo Festival, This famous winter rite is the union of the folk Namahage tradition and a Shinto festival."

Last Update: 2019-10-03

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