Guide to Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems) by Photos and Movies

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Name
Amamehagi
Address
Monzen-machi, Wajima City; Akiyoshi, Noto Town
Category
Festival
Class
Custom
Designation
National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Asset (February 1979)
Comment
A group of people called “Gacha”, wearing demon, goblin or monkey masks, visit people’s homes, warning small children with shouts of, “Is there a lazy child here?” This custom has been designated as a National Intangible Folk Cultural Asset. It is a traditional custom of Noto, carried out at New Year’s to keep people’s homes trouble-free. “Amame” refers to corns that form on the feet due to sitting still for a long time beside a fireplace or brazier without working. “Amamehagi” means “removal of corns”. The custom is carried out in January and February. It began as a way of deterring farmers from being lazy before the start of cultivation in spring. As the custom is similar to Namahage in the Oga area of Akita Prefecture, it is considered to be a remnant of the original form of Japanese religious faith, which involved deities visiting people’s houses at the end of the year.
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