The famous Namahage Festival was an evening filled with dancing masked ogres, amazing taiko performances, and… a kidnapping?!
C, S, M, and I headed to Oga on Saturday, February 8, for the annual Oga Namahage Festival. It was my first winter festival, and what a way to kick off the season!
Akita Prefecture is famous for Namahage, scary masked demons who march down from a mountain on New Year’s Eve and frighten children into behaving for the next year. In this festival, we got to see a reenactment of the New Year’s Eve visit and watch the Namahage dance, play taiko, and then march down the mountain! Of course, we also ate festival food, took silly pictures, drank sake out of bamboo cups, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, despite the cold and the snow! :)