NAMAHAGE
Satoshi Takahashi/LightRocket/Getty Images
Japanese Traditional Namahage Festival

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  • A Namahage mask which is uses the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.A Namahage mask which is uses the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016 10:39:31: A Namahage mask which is uses the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • A former Namahage player Tsutomu Takakuwa who hits the wooden hammer to soften straw to makes Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.A former Namahage player Tsutomu Takakuwa who hits the wooden hammer to soften straw to makes Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016: A former Namahage player Tsutomu Takakuwa who hits the wooden hammer to soften straw to makes Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Young Namahage players Kyosuke Shinoda (left) and Koki Suzuki (right) who carry straw to make Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Young Namahage players Kyosuke Shinoda (left) and Koki Suzuki (right) who carry straw to make Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016 08:56:49: Young Namahage players Kyosuke Shinoda (left) and Koki Suzuki (right) who carry straw to make Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • The leader of Namahage players at Sugoroku district, Mikio Miura (left) who teaches a young Namahage player Kyosuke Shinoda how to make Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.The leader of Namahage players at Sugoroku district, Mikio Miura (left) who teaches a young Namahage player Kyosuke Shinoda how to make Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016: The leader of Namahage players at Sugoroku district, Mikio Miura (left) who teaches a young Namahage player Kyosuke Shinoda how to make Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage players make Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage players make Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016: Namahage players make Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • A former Namahage player Tsutomu Takakuwa who makes Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.A former Namahage player Tsutomu Takakuwa who makes Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016 09:37:44: A former Namahage player Tsutomu Takakuwa who makes Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Mikio Miura (left), the leader of Namahage players at Sugoroku district, dressed a young Namahage player in Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Mikio Miura (left), the leader of Namahage players at Sugoroku district, dressed a young Namahage player in Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016: Mikio Miura (left), the leader of Namahage players at Sugoroku district, dressed a young Namahage player in Kede which is traditional straw garment of Namahage on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • The leader of Namahage players at Sugoroku district, Mikio Miura who goes to Shinmei shrine to prays for a success of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.The leader of Namahage players at Sugoroku district, Mikio Miura who goes to Shinmei shrine to prays for a success of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016 10:45:13: The leader of Namahage players at Sugoroku district, Mikio Miura who goes to Shinmei shrine to prays for a success of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage masks were enshrined at Shinmei shrine on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This tradition has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. And this event is designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage masks were enshrined at Shinmei shrine on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This tradition has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. And this event is designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016: Namahage masks were enshrined at Shinmei shrine on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This tradition has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. And this event is designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage players pray to soul of Namahage in front of Namahage masks at Shinmei shrine on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This tradition has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage players pray to soul of Namahage in front of Namahage masks at Shinmei shrine on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This tradition has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016: Namahage players pray to soul of Namahage in front of Namahage masks at Shinmei shrine on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This tradition has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage masks were enshrined at Shinmei shrine on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This tradition has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage masks were enshrined at Shinmei shrine on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This tradition has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016 10:58:21: Namahage masks were enshrined at Shinmei shrine on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This tradition has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Shinmei shrine at Sugoroku district.
Namahage masks are enshrined in the shrine by Namahage players of Sugoroku district on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.Shinmei shrine at Sugoroku district.
Namahage masks are enshrined in the shrine by Namahage players of Sugoroku district on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016 11:01:29: Shinmei shrine at Sugoroku district. Namahage masks are enshrined in the shrine by Namahage players of Sugoroku district on the day before the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Young Namahage players Kyosuke Shinoda (left) and Koki Suzuki (right) who hold two different colored of Namahage masks that use the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Young Namahage players Kyosuke Shinoda (left) and Koki Suzuki (right) who hold two different colored of Namahage masks that use the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016: Young Namahage players Kyosuke Shinoda (left) and Koki Suzuki (right) who hold two different colored of Namahage masks that use the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • A Namahage monument at Monzen district in Oga Peninsula.
Oga Peninsula is famous for the traditional folk event of Oga's Namahage. This event has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan since 1978.A Namahage monument at Monzen district in Oga Peninsula.
Oga Peninsula is famous for the traditional folk event of Oga's Namahage. This event has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan since 1978.
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      Monzen district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016: A Namahage monument at Monzen district in Oga Peninsula. Oga Peninsula is famous for the traditional folk event of Oga's Namahage. This event has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan since 1978.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • The Sugoroku coast of Oga Peninsula.
Oga Peninsula is famous for the traditional folk event of Oga's Namahage. This event has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan since 1978.The Sugoroku coast of Oga Peninsula.
Oga Peninsula is famous for the traditional folk event of Oga's Namahage. This event has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan since 1978.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 30/12/2016: The Sugoroku coast of Oga Peninsula. Oga Peninsula is famous for the traditional folk event of Oga's Namahage. This event has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan since 1978.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Oga-Sanzan. The mountain where a god is enshrined.
Oga-Sanzan (the three mountains of Oga) is the generic name for the three mountains that Shin-zan, Hon-zan and Kenashi-yama.Oga-Sanzan. The mountain where a god is enshrined.
Oga-Sanzan (the three mountains of Oga) is the generic name for the three mountains that Shin-zan, Hon-zan and Kenashi-yama.
  • The setting sun of New Year's Eve at Sugoroku coast of Oga Peninsula. Oga Peninsula is famous for the traditional folk event of Oga's Namahage. This event has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan since 1978.The setting sun of New Year's Eve at Sugoroku coast of Oga Peninsula. Oga Peninsula is famous for the traditional folk event of Oga's Namahage. This event has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan since 1978.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 16:13:06: The setting sun of New Year's Eve at Sugoroku coast of Oga Peninsula. Oga Peninsula is famous for the traditional folk event of Oga's Namahage. This event has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan since 1978.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage masks and young Namahage players waiting for the start of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage masks and young Namahage players waiting for the start of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 17:23:29: Namahage masks and young Namahage players waiting for the start of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • The leader of Namahage players at Sugoroku district, Mikio Miura (left) who teaches young Namahage players the manners of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.The leader of Namahage players at Sugoroku district, Mikio Miura (left) who teaches young Namahage players the manners of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016: The leader of Namahage players at Sugoroku district, Mikio Miura (left) who teaches young Namahage players the manners of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • A young Namahage player Kyosuke Shinoda waiting for the start of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.A young Namahage player Kyosuke Shinoda waiting for the start of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016: A young Namahage player Kyosuke Shinoda waiting for the start of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • A young Namahage player who puts on a Namahage mask for the start of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.A young Namahage player who puts on a Namahage mask for the start of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016: A young Namahage player who puts on a Namahage mask for the start of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage players roar for the start of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage players roar for the start of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 18:22:46: Namahage players roar for the start of the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night while calling out in this way “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 18:26:33: Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 18:27:14: Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 18:30:04: Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 18:31:12: Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 18:37:09: Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016: Namahage deities go around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to mother and child “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to mother and child “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 18:39:36: Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to mother and child “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • A girl who is frightened by the visit of Namahage deities during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.A girl who is frightened by the visit of Namahage deities during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 18:47:26: A girl who is frightened by the visit of Namahage deities during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: ©Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 18:39:13: Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deity goes around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deity goes around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 19:05:03: Namahage deity goes around visiting the houses of Sugoroku district while shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?”at the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: ©Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 19:37:21: Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 19:10:31: Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 19:34:38: Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Girls are frightened by the visit of Namahage deities during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Girls are frightened by the visit of Namahage deities during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016: Girls are frightened by the visit of Namahage deities during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: ©Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deity cradles a child in his arms during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deity cradles a child in his arms during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku District, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016: Namahage deity cradles a child in his arms during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities were given a warm reception by a family of Sugoroku district during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities were given a warm reception by a family of Sugoroku district during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 20:56:44: Namahage deities were given a warm reception by a family of Sugoroku district during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016: Namahage deities visiting a house during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. They shouting loudly to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” They deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • A boy who is frightened by the visit of Namahage deities during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.A boy who is frightened by the visit of Namahage deities during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 20:19:42: A boy who is frightened by the visit of Namahage deities during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • A boy who is frightened by the visit of Namahage deities during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.A boy who is frightened by the visit of Namahage deities during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 21:07:16: A boy who is frightened by the visit of Namahage deities during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deities were given a warm reception by a family of Sugoroku district during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deities were given a warm reception by a family of Sugoroku district during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve.
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 21:06:35: Namahage deities were given a warm reception by a family of Sugoroku district during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Namahage deity shouting to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.Namahage deity shouting to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. 
Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night.
Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year.
However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
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      Sugoroku district, Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan - 31/12/2016 21:19:53: Namahage deity shouting to people “Are there any crying children here? Any children who don’t keep the teaching of their parents?” and “Any lazy people who neglecting their work?” during the Namahage festival of traditional folk event on New Year's Eve. Namahage deities deliver an admonition against lazy people, especially for children. And they bless happiness and a good harvest of villagers for next New Year. This folk event has been passed down from ancient times around Oga City, Akita Prefecture. It has been designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan as Oga's 'Namahage' since 1978. Namahage is a figure like the demons, but is not so. Namahage is regarded as a messenger of tutelary deity. On New Year’s Eve, Two or three youths of a village wearing traditional straw garments, Namahage masks, holding wooden chopping knives, sacred wooden wands and pails. They take in soul of Namahage to their own bodies. And then, they go around visiting houses during the night. Villagers prepare traditional dishes and Japanese sake for welcome their visit once a year. However, the Namahage event has been decreasing year by year in many districts due to the depopulation and aging. And so the traditional folk event is confronted with severe problem of succession to future generations.
      Credit: Satoshi Takahashi
  • Traditional Namahage masks are being displayed in the Namahage museum. There are many different kinds of masks by each district of Oga city.Traditional Namahage masks are being displayed in the Namahage museum. There are many different kinds of masks by each district of Oga city.
  • A traditional Namahage mask has been exhibited in the Namahage museum.A traditional Namahage mask has been exhibited in the Namahage museum.
  • Various kinds of traditional Namahage masks and costumes have been exhibited in the Namahage museum.Various kinds of traditional Namahage masks and costumes have been exhibited in the Namahage museum.
  • Various kinds of traditional Namahage masks and costumes have been exhibited in the Namahage museum.Various kinds of traditional Namahage masks and costumes have been exhibited in the Namahage museum.

 

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