“Discovery of Namahage!”, The first online study tour in the third year of Reiwa

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The online study tour was carried out in order that TIEC and HIH residents were thoughtfully exposed to Japanese history and cultures and deepened the understanding of Japan. TIEC and HIH residents acquired a knowledge of Japanese folklore and the concept of “KAMI” under the theme of “Namahage,” which has been registered as UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage, and we aimed necessarily at becoming an opportunity to think their own cultures and traditions.

1.Date and Time

Sunday, December 12, 2021
17:00PM ~ 19:00PM


Online (ZOOM)


Online Study Tour (17:00PM ~19:00PM)

Namahage Museum (Explanation and Questionnaire Tournament for Namahage)

Mr. OTA Tadashi, an expert of the Oga no Namahage, explained four Namahage-related legendary stories by using exhibition panels. Thereafter, participants moved to the exhibition room called “Namahage Seizoroi,” a place of interest where 150 Namahage figures from each village in Oga city gathered together. Therefore, participants deepened knowledge of Namahage because Mr. OTA answered questions from them. For example, such questions were actively asked from participants as follows: There is a similar festival called “Busojaras” in Hungary. When and what part of Akita Prefecture did Namahage events start? What is the meaning of “Namahage”? Could you tell me why there are various kinds of Namahage faces?

Oga Shinzan Folklore Museum (Learning Courses Capable of Experiencing a Scene that Namahage Visit Each House on New Year’s Eve)

While watching video interview with Mr. ISHIKAWA Senshū, Namahage masks sculptor, participants moved to Oga Shinzan Folklore Museum and experienced the events of Namahage. When Namahage appeared on the screen displays, participants reacted and chatted “Wow!” The session of exchanging questions and answers with Namahage was carried out based on questions that were collected in advance from participants. Sometimes, there was a scene in which Namahage asked a question to a questioner. Even if we were in online learning, we had a feeling of interaction.

Experimental School for Rural Life (Namahage Masks Painting Experience)

Participants had an experience of painting on Namahage masks at the experimental school for rural life, using painting craft kits for Namahage masks, which were sent to participants ahead of time. Participants responded to the call of a facilitator and then turned on ZOOM video camera. A scene in which everyone from adults to children could enjoy painting on Namahage masks was displayed on the ZOOM monitor. Showing the completed work to other participants produced a sense of unity to share the same time and place.


TIEC residents and HIH residents

5.The number of participants

58 (including staff)

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    Subsidized by the Nakajima Foundation
Back Number
Strategy Planning Unit, Student Exchange Programs Planning Division, Student Exchange Department, Japan Student Services Organization
  • TEL 03-5520-6012
  • E-mail tiecproject at mark jasso.go.jp
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