Japan to seek UNESCO cultural heritage listing of seven regional events
Japan Times -- Feb 18
A government panel on cultural assets has decided to pitch seven indigenous regional events for inclusion on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

Among the events is the Oga Namahage in Akita Prefecture, in which residents dressed as messengers from the gods visit homes to expel evil and wish good health.

Japan sought the listing of Namahage by itself in 2011, but UNESCO rejected it due to its close resemblance to the already-listed Koshikijima no Toshidon in Kagoshima Prefecture.

The government has now decided to seek the listing of those two events, along with six others around Japan that center on visiting deities or demons, as a single group.

News source: Japan Times
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