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EN 100% Japan

In this episode we introduce a lunar New Year event in Yoshihama, Iwate Prefecture that features the Suneka. According to local traditions, the Suneka is a spirit which ensures good fortune. It has a bizarre face that can resemble a demon, wolf, or dragon. And it comes huffing down from the mountains carrying bales of rice, which symbolize a rich harvest, and abalone shells, which symbolize a good catch. And just as with the Namahage of Oga, the Suneka warns children to obey their parents and avoid laziness. It has a history that stretches back 180 years, and today it is seen as a personification of nature’s sacred power.

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