10 Japanese rituals may be on UNESCO list
NHK -- Nov 29
Ten traditional rituals of Japan featuring people in masks and costumes are expected to be added to the list of UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Delegates at an intergovernmental committee meeting in Mauritius are discussing the proposals of Japan and other countries.

Japan has proposed listing "Raiho-shin, visits of deities in masks and costumes."

Such rituals originated from folklore in which deities from the outer world visit communities to usher in the New Year or a new season with happiness and good fortune.

The rituals consist of 10 traditional events from 8 prefectures. One of the best known events is the Namahage ritual in Oga, Akita Prefecture.

In October, an advisory body to UNESCO recommended that the traditional events should be registered on the list.

秋田県の男鹿のナマハゲや、沖縄県宮古島のパーントゥなど、全国10の地域の『来訪神』がユネスコの無形文化遺産に登録される見通しとなっている。来訪神は、人の世界にやってきて、ご利益をもたらすといわれ、男鹿のナマハゲは江戸時代の本にも登場している。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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