All About Japan

Modern-Day Demon Invades Akihabara

| Akihabara

An unusual tradition that's usually only seen in Japanese ritual areas, men dress up in demon masks and parade through town as Namahage, visiting houses along the way. They typically yell phrases like “Are there any crybabies around?” or “Are naughty kids here?” But the Namahage have been known to admonish adults too. And by acting as a scary rule enforcer, Namahage played the important role of strengthening family and community ties. This became a critical part of artist Etsuko Ichihara’s “Namahage in Tokyo,” a city where many young Japanese men and women move to from rural Japan, hence diluting the bonds between family and community.

Spoon & Tamago covered this new twist on a Japanese tradition with gorgeous photos and even another video. Head there to get the full story!