Namahage are fearsome visitors (usually young men) with straw capes (mino) and horned demon masks who visit houses in northern Japan around the new year (shogatsu) period. They carry a teoke (wooden pail) and a debabocho (kitchen knife), bringing blessings and threatening children against idleness and bad behaviour. They are welcomed with sake and fish as honoured guests. Variant forms are called amahage or amamehagi. In the south (Kyushu) there is a similar custom called toshidon.

A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. .

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