Namahage: Fearsome Guardians of Oga Peninsula

Spiritual Explorers

25m 00s
Broadcast on February 26, 2023 Available until February 26, 2024

Oga Peninsula in northern Japan is home to mythical, ogre-like deities called Namahage. On New Year's Eve, human personifications of Namahage descend upon villages wearing frightening masks and costumes. The head of each household welcomes them with sake and food, and in return, they stomp and roar at the entrance to exorcise evil spirits and bring good luck. Our explorer visits the village of Anzenji to gain insight into how the imagination of the ancients inspired this fearsome protector.

Program Outline