Scaring Japanese Kids into Obedience (Bonus: Scarring Them For Life!)

Have you ever threatened your unruly kid to listen lest a monster will get 'em? Well, the Japanese aren't into empty threats:

The costumes depicted the monster of the local "namahage" tradition, where people dressed as the monsters visit houses and admonish naughty children.

Keeping with the tradition, the event was also meant for parents struggling with children who constantly fight each other, watch TV and won't study, or otherwise cause child-rearing headaches.

Three families totaling 11 people participated in the event. Parents brought their children to the inn to stay the night without telling them about the surprise to come. Suddenly, a namahage monster burst into the room, growling and thrashing around.

"Will you listen to your father?" asked a namahage monster of one child. Amidst sobs, and with all the power the child could muster, came the response: "Yes!"

The event is also designed to let families experience the traditional namahage culture and to deepen familial bonds by letting parents "protect" their children from the monster.


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