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Japanese folk rituals approved as UNESCO intangible heritage

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Oga-no-Namahage is a nonsense. It frightens and scares children. I do not like seeing children crying at the devils when they visit their houses. It does not deserve a cultural heritage. It is a primitive savage tradition.

-3 ( +17 / -20 )

what is this japanese infatuation with UNESCO?

Oga-no-Namahage is a nonsense. It frightens and scares children. I do not like seeing children crying at the devils when they visit their houses. It does not deserve a cultural heritage. It is a primitive savage tradition.

I agree with that. Anything that purposefully frightens children is just wrong

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Oga-no-Namahage is a nonsense. It frightens and scares children. I do not like seeing children crying at the devils when they visit their houses. It does not deserve a cultural heritage. It is a primitive savage tradition.

I respectfully disagree. Namahage festival is a fun tradition, just as Halloween is in USA. Not everything in the world can be Disney style. Thank you UN, thank-you!! This will be a real big boost for the tourism industry in Akita-ken, from foreign and local tourists, and boost the economy damaged by depopulation.

4 ( +16 / -12 )

yes the ancient Japanese folk ritual of traumatizing little children

3 ( +14 / -11 )

it's part of our UNESCO heritage

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I wonder what UNICEF has to say about that?

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Japan must have a the largest team in the world permanently employed to make submissions to UNESCO. They must have more UNESCO sites than any other country on earth. Without Japan UNESCO would probably be just an abandon building somewhere. They should just submit the whole of Japan as a single heritage site and save a whole heap of money time and effort.

Interestingly Japan shoulders 9.6% of UNESCO’s yearly budget second only to the USA at a cost of over 4 billion yen inclusive of voluntary contributions! Boy oh boy when you ain’t making the money yourself you sure can waste it!

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Hmmm, when I read the news here it seems often that Japan wants to UNESCOfy the entire country. But after doing some fact checking Japan falls still far behind other countries. As of now only 22 sites are registered while China has 54 registered.

https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/stat

Btw, is it proven that this tradition causes mental damage? I never saw any harm in it but I could be wrong.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Because nothing exist without unescos blessing.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

You get UNESCO! You get UNESCO! Everyone gets UNESCO!

Yeah. Japan does seem to be taking the shotgun approach with UNESCO applications. 9 our 10 get rejected. That's okay, we only put in 100 last year so we still got 10 accepted.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

My cousins were visited by Santa Claus when they were 5 & 6 y/o and they cried like maniacs for hours afterwards.

Do we never let Santa near them again?

No, because it happens the NEXT year with the school, and the year after that... and after a while they stopped being scared when they realized he wasn’t going to DO anything.

It’s a cultural hertitage to force kids to sit on Santa’s lap, terrified or not, but we don’t call for it to stop either.

https://media.giphy.com/media/xUPOqgh2pTXU1IXk1G/giphy.gif

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Interesting traditions of kids crying in fear while adults look on laughing, and the harder they cry, the luckier/healthier they will be that year, etc. I guess it can help harried moms give weight to their threats of "behave, or the oni will get you!"

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Great news!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This article hardly does the Namahage tradition justice; it seems to be giving rise to misunderstandings. One should at least peek at the Wikipedia entry (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namahage) before passing judgment. Or better yet, visit the Namahage museum in Oga, Akita.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Nothing beats the mud men they showed on TV this morning.

No one was safe, not even the local police.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This will be a real big boost for the tourism industry in Akita-ken, from foreign and local tourists, and boost the economy damaged by depopulation.

That tiresome Kenmin show on TV had a fifteen minute slot on an Akita ken "meibutsu" last night. It was basically identical to a Gohei mochi, ordinary cooked rice pounded into a cake and grilled on a stick with miso. A kind of lumpy mochi (which uses different rice) or chewy sweet yaki-onigiri. However it was crucially not called a Gohei mochi. Anyway, if that's what they are depending on for tourists, god help them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Oga-no-Namahage is a nonsense. It frightens and scares children. I do not like seeing children crying at the devils when they visit their houses. It does not deserve a cultural heritage. It is a primitive savage tradition.

You are absolutely right. Children should never have to overcome anything daunting or challenging. They should be protected at all costs from anything frightening or difficult. I can see how that will help them later in life.

If you actually saw the festival or lived in the local community you would know that after the children have been scared they are consoled by their family and often the devil that scared them. But it is "a savage tradition".

1 ( +4 / -3 )

UNESCO listings are getting ridiculously out of hand ...when i was a kid and there were only a few places / traditions in the world listed, the title had far more meaning and made it truly special. Now every man and his dog can come up with something for UNESCO nomination , as long as they contribute to UNESCO coffers by the look of it.

Where I live we have the time honored tradition of salarymen getting blind pissed and dancing on tables with neckties around their heads to karaoke tunes at boonenkais ....I , ll nominate it next year as a fine intangible local custom. Honestly its getting that ridiculous.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Look at the traumatized children screaming their heads off while the adults laugh. Isn’t our culture wonderful? And don’t even get me started on the UNESCO “seal of approval “.....

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Look at the traumatized children screaming their heads off while the adults laugh. Isn’t our culture wonderful? And don’t even get me started on the UNESCO “seal of approval “.....

Not much different to the fear of the devil in Christianity. Again, it was designed to instill a sense of moral virtue and to do the right thing according to the Christian ethos. The commandments etc.

The idea of "a devil" of some sort seems to be a universal in many cultures.

My mother use to scare me as a young kid with an evil witch impersonation.

She wasn't trying to teach me anything. Just for the sheer pleasure ;)

Mention now and she smiles. The good ole days lol.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hurry up and just register the whole country, every building, every blade of grass (or rather, spec of sand), and every person. That's what they're aiming for. Today I heard that Osaka will Apply for UNESCO status for its "Taiyo no Tou" from the original Expo, decided since getting the second Expo last Week. I asked the guy who told me, "Why? I mean, it's nice, I guess... smells pretty moldy Inside... but what qualifies it as a world heritage site?" His response was, "Osaka people are proud of it, and I want it to be recognized by the world."

That's exactly why most of these sights/sites get put up... individuals want to be seen because they are so insecure with themselves they need praise. That, or the obvious money that tourism brings in if its a legitimate sight for travelling to. There aren't many places that ACTUALLY deserve it, and that has been extremely diluted by the 90% of applications that most certainly do NOT.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

My cousins were visited by Santa Claus when they were 5 & 6 y/o and they cried like maniacs for hours afterwards. Do we never let Santa near them again?

Santa was design to be wholesome friendly and giving, Oga-no-Namahage designed to look fearsome scary and soul taking, not really in the same basket

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Osaka people are proud of it, and I want it to be recognized by the world."

It's the ugliest, weirdest and most hideous thing in Osaka after the Sun Child in Ibaraki and Dai Heiwa Kinen Tō in Tondabayashi.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I love watching children cry.

I think Neko Hiroshi should be next on UNESCO's list. "Nyaaah".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

UNESCO is a total political sham. Knew 1 punter whose entire life goal was to visit all the UNESCO sites. Everytime he got close to finishing, they added a few new sites to keep him hooked on his nihilistic Sisyphean mission.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My kids only cried the first time the oni visited, now they love it. Saying it shouldn't happen because it scares kids is just as stupid as saying Halloween should be banned.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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