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Kariwano Tug-of-War Festival

//By Jessie Fast// One of the best things about small winter festivals in Akita is how a whole town will come together for the special occasion. A tradition becomes a testament to the unity of a community, usually tucked away somewhere off little used highways. One such festival is the 500-year-old giant Tug-of-War in Kariwano … Continue reading

Namahage Sedo Festival

//By Jessie Fast// There is perhaps nothing more terrifying for children than being confronted with their nightmares face-to-face. However, for children in Akita, that is exactly what happens at the Namahage Sedo Festival in Oga City. Namahage, Akita‚Äôs infamous demon-gods with daggers in hand and red or blue faces, are used by parents to scare … Continue reading