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March 26, 2017 2:30

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"Namahage" festival in Akita

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"Namahage" festival in Akita

Men disguised as "Namahage" descend a snowy mountain carrying torches on Feb. 10, 2017, during the Namahage Sedo Festival at Shinzan Shrine in the northeastern Japan city of Oga, Akita Prefecture. Wearing a demon-like mask and a costume made of straw, Namahage are considered divine messengers bringing blessings to people by visiting houses in the area every New Year's Eve, yelling and telling children they have to behave themselves in a tradition designated as one of Japan's important intangible cultural assets. (Kyodo)

==Kyodo

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