All About Japan

Japanese Tradition of Scaring Kids Continues!

| Festivals , Yamagata
Japanese Tradition of Scaring Kids Continues!

Men dressed as demons scare children in northeastern Japan to discourage them from being lazy.

These so-called monsters are scaring children, but with good intentions. This is a local New Year tradition. Amahage demons aim to prevent children from being lazy. They also pray for people’s safety for the coming year. The name of the demons can change depending on the region. While those in Yamagata Prefecture tend to say "Amahage," they are more popularly known as "Namahage," which is more common in Akita. Here are five great places to witness this annual tradition.