Approaching the tradition of individuality at “Oga-Sinzan Heritage Museum and Nayama-agekan”

The Namahage known for the phrase “Is there a child who cries, and there is a child who doesn’t listen to the parents?”

On New Year’s Eve, the image of children being frightened by their eccentric appearances is strong, but for oga people, Namahage is a visiting god who warns of laziness and brings sick ness, the fruits of the fields, the mountain’ sofas, and the seafood.

Visit the Oga-sinzan Folklore Museum and Namahage Museum to experience this culture that is one of japan’s most important intangible folk cultural properties and unesco world heritage sites.

culture Vol.4 2019/09/05

People stand on their own outings and feast on people's dispossession.

In winter, the fire-type (fire spots) that can be used in the hands and feet when long warm in the hearth is called “Namomi” in the dialect of this land, and “Namomi peeling” is said to be the etymology of “Namahage” to warn of laziness.

 

Their costumes are quite unique.

 

First of all, face.

 

Various materials such as wood skin, wood sculpture, paper on the colander, and paper clay are used, all of which are horrible forms with bare fangs.

 

The costume is symbolic, dressed as a god with a face, in the shape of a straw.

 

Straw-woven snares and straw shoes mean they come from far away.

 

And in the hand, it is a “cutting knife” to remove “Namomi”.

 

It is already intruding rather than visiting houses out loud while swinging this.

 

It is the momentum that even adults get excited.


There are various theories about the origin of the namagpie, and there are various “Butei theory” in the Chinese han age, and “Monk’s theory”, “The god theory of the mountain”, and “Drifting Gentile theory” because oga’s main mountain and sinzan were the spiritual places of the training road before.

 

In the book of the traveling family in the Edo period, Oga Namahage who visited on the New Year of the eight years of culture (1811) is left with a detailed explanation and a picture as a living stripping (Namomihagi), and this is considered to be the oldest record.

 

Since then, many researchers and writers have continued their research as a culture of high value in folklore.


A unique facility where you can experience Namahage culture up close

The Namahage Museum in Oga, the site of Namahage, and the Oga-sinzan Heritage Museum, which is adjacent to namahage, introduce namahage culture from various angles.

 

In addition to the real-life displays such as Namahage costumes and panel displays that tell the history, the Namahage Transformation Corner is also popular, where you can take a commemorative photo wearing a real Namahage costume.

 

If you’re lucky, you can also see the face-carving process by namahage sculptor.

 

At The Oga-sinzan Folklore Hall, a typical Mgariya house in the Oga region offers a learning course where you can experience Namahage’s customs and customs.

 

It is held every day of April and November and on weekends and holidays from December to March, so I would definitely like to visit the event every 30 minutes.


Oga-sinzan Folklore Museum and Namahage Museum

Street address
Kitaura Mayama Mizuiizawa, Oga City
phone number
0185-22-5050
business hours
Namahage Museum: 8:30-17:00/Mayama Folklore Hall: 9:00-16:30 every day from April to November, 9:30-15:30 on Weekends and Holidays from December to March
WEB site
https://www.namahage.co.jp/namahagekan
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