2014-02-17

Namahage Festival in Utashinai City !


Photos by the municipality of Utashinai
Words by Kazu

It is not the child abuse nor kidnapping. 
As the predecessors of the citizens in Utashinai City were mainly from Akita Prefecture, the annual event of "Namahage" in which red and blue ogres that scare the kids to pray for the sound growth of the children was held on February 2(Sun.). The festival counts the 28th this year.  Approximately  five hundred people in the city and from the adjacent towns got together to see the event.  The red and blue ogres called "Namahage" went down from the mountain in the city and broke into the event shouting "Are there any bad kids or bullying kids ?" The ogres caught the kids and asked them "Are you crying ?" Needless to say, the kids crying out promised that "I will be a good child !", "I will never do bad things any more !" 
At the end of the event, the ogres prayed for the health and good fortune of the citizens including the kids.
Wouldn't this event be traumatic for the kids ?
If you did bad thing,  the Namahage ogres visited you and urged you to promise;)

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