How was your New Year’s Eve?
New Year is a very special day in Japan. Apart from long holiday most people can take, shops usually have their biggest sale in this season too. New Year is the season when people travel a lot, shop a lot, and eat a lot.
But there are also traditional rituals held across the nation that are also interesting during New Year. One of them is “Namahage”, where men portray the appearance of a demon by wearing hefty ogre masks and straw capes. This tradition is common in some areas in Akita Prefecture.
These men with ogre masks will go around the neighborhood during the New Year’s eveasking “Are there any naughty kids here?”, “Is anyone crying?”. Namahage keeps children away from doing the wrong by warning them that any bad deeds will get punishment. Namahage is believed to bring fortune too.
My grandma’s place is where they are starting the patrol. There are four Namahage hanging out at her house.
Four of the Namahages were gathering in the living room of that Twitter user’s granny. They seemed relaxed, but of course they looked scary for us who were seeing them. It must have been quite a surprise if the granny didn’t tell herNew Year before.