Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Oga City , Akita Related category:
Namahage in Oga    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 30 minutes
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Namahage in Oga has been handed down in the form of young men who disguise themselves as red and blue ogres and visit houses in the village on December 31 every year to punish the lazy, expel the evil and invite the welfare of the family and a good catch of fish. There are various stories as to the origin of the event; one such story is that Emperor Wu of Han landed in Oga with five ogres and lived in the three mountains of Oga. He then came down to the village and the people were petrified by them. There are many events found all over Japan where a god appears at a significant time of the year to bless people. Namahage in Oga, however, is one of the few events in which the traditional form has been extremely well preserved and survived in such concentrated numbers. It was designated a National Intangible Folk Cultural Property in 1978 as a typical example of Japans traditional folk beliefs.

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