A Very Inaka Weekend

Our friend Amy visited from Seoul a few weeks ago. Since she lives in the big city, we though we’d partake in some real bumpkiny Nakatsu activities! First we popped by the local kagura (Japanese ritual dance) festival. This kagura featured a priest taming an oni, or demon, well-played by a rambunctious kid.   Then we went to the cosmos … More A Very Inaka Weekend

It’s Pocky Day!

The kids at school informed me that today is Pocky Day, because 11/11 mimics the shape of the classic cylindrical snack. Apparently this is a real thing—in 1999 Ezaki Clico Co Ltd. created “Pocky & Pretz* Day” as a form of customer appreciation/marketing. What can I say? It worked, because a whole class of my 7th-graders coordinated … More It’s Pocky Day!

Namahage

One of my colleagues just shared with me the hilarious/traumatic northern Japanese tradition of Namahage. The Namahage are demonic gods who make their rounds on New Years Eve and terrorize children into good behavior. They bust into a house, wail at the kids, and sometimes even try to kidnap them for being naughty or lazy! Please enjoy these Namahage videos; I know I did! [Featured image: “Namahage” by kanegen – … More Namahage