What's "NAMAHAGE"?


Are there any crybabies here?
Any kids who don't listen to their parents?


On New Year’s Eve, young men of the various villages dressed as Namahage go from house to house shouting loudly “Are there any crybabies here? Any kids who don’t listen to their parents?” and “Does the woman of the house wake up early?” To the people of Oga, the Namahage are visiting gods that come with the New Year to warn against laziness, and bring protection from illness and disasters, a good harvest, and plentiful food from the mountains and sea. The houses that welcome the Namahage prepare traditional food and sake and offer it graciously to them. 
Namahage events used to be held on the Lunar New Year in Oga, but now they are held on Dec.31. Due to a lack of participants to pass on the tradition, the number of areas holding Namahage events has been decreasing year by year. However they have recently been making a comeback. In 1978, Oga’s Namahage were designated officially as an Important Intangible Cultural Asset.







topicsMatsuri ReDesign