• Kyodo

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A set of Japanese folk rituals, in which people dress up as gods and visit homes, was approved Thursday for addition to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list, a committee of the U.N. body said.

The rituals featuring Raiho-shin — meaning a visiting deity — stem from folk beliefs that gods visit their communities to usher in the New Year or new seasons with good luck. Those to be listed include Oga no Namahage in Akita Prefecture, one of the most popular among such customs.

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