I still remember the shocking image of young children crying as Namahage holding a knife, wearing a devil’s mask, and dressed in an outfit made from straws break into people’s homes shouting “Where are the naughty kids,” “Where are the crying babies.”
It made me worry that these children will not be able to go to the bathroom by themselves after the event.
Namahage Sedo Matsuri is a tourist attraction held in the winter, which combines Akita’s folk event Namahage and the Shinto ritual Saitousai.
Watching the Namahage, a nightmare for the children, dancing powerfully while playing the taiko drums by the bonfire held inside the Mayama Shrine is definitely the highlight of the event.
The initial image of the Namahage being a devil is reversed, and the real status as god of mountains can be seen.