• SHARE

In “Any Crybabies Around?,” the first theatrical feature by acclaimed short film director Takuma Sato, the real “baby” is the protagonist, a native of the Oga Peninsula in Akita Prefecture, who is an adult in age but still a foolish, irresponsible kid at heart.

He is also a participant in the Oga tradition of Namahage, in which local men dress themselves as folklore ogres and, on New Year’s Eve, go from house to house scaring tots with the approval of their smiling parents. The idea, a pompous Namahage leader tells a TV reporter, is to instill ethics in impressionable youngsters. “They learn that fathers protect children,” he says.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)