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

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  • Mensama Nentô
Name
Mensama Nentô
Address
Wajimazaki-machi and Kawai-machi, Wajima City
Category
Festival
Class
Custom
Age
17th century~19th century
Designation
National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Asset (February 1979)
Comment
This is a Shinto ritual for dispelling evil spirits, which has been conducted for more than 400 years. It is carried out on January 14 and 20 in Wajimazaki-machi and on January 14 in Kawai-machi. The ritual has been handed down by around 210 families that are parishioners of Wajimazaki Shrine in Wajimazaki-machi and Jyûzô Shrine in Kawai-machi. It has been designated as a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Asset. Two people wearing a male mask and a female mask, and disguised as a couple of deities visit the houses of parishioners. The deities are played by boys in Wajimazaki-machi, and by adults in Kawai-machi. They are not supposed to say a word; they knock on the door with a branch of Japanese cleyera, and enter the guest room in silence. Then, they bow towards the Shinto altar and sit down with the altar at their back. The host says words of celebration for the New Year, places the first ear of rice of the season on the altar as an offering, and prays for good health for the year to come.
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