New Year’s: Enter The Namahage

We discussed Krampus two weeks ago. The New Year’s equivalent is Japan’s Namahage, another colorful folk tradition that’s all about scarring kids for life. From Wikipedia:

Namahage is a Japanese ritual which is observed…in northern Honshū, Japan.

On New Year’s Eve, a group of young men dressed up as fierce bogeymen, Namahage, visit each house in the village, shouting: “any misbehaving kids live here?” They then scare children, telling them not to be lazy or cry, though little children often do burst into tears.Then the parents will assure the Namahage that there is no bad child in their house, and give food or traditional alcoholic beverages to the demons.

Below, some kids get a visit from the Namahage:

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  • Word Eater

    Anyone else think of The Village when the Namahage walked in?

    Also, I like how you are supposed to placate the child mauling demon with booze. No problems there, right?

    The kids at 1:35 and 2:35 just look terrified.

    Wow, imagine the law suits this would generate in America. All the crying kids and smiling adults would totally equal abuse.

  • Word Eater

    Anyone else think of The Village when the Namahage walked in?

    Also, I like how you are supposed to placate the child mauling demon with booze. No problems there, right?

    The kids at 1:35 and 2:35 just look terrified.

    Wow, imagine the law suits this would generate in America. All the crying kids and smiling adults would totally equal abuse.