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Japan Photo Journal: Wicked swimmer


A "namahage" demon diver swims in a tank at the Aqua Museum aquarium at Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in Yokohama's Kanazawa Ward on Jan. 12, 2020. This particular variety of demon is not native to Yokohama, south of Tokyo, and its appearance at the aquarium is thanks to a collaboration with Oga Aquarium GAO in the city of Oga, Akita Prefecture -- the region of northern Japan that is the namahage's home turf. The demons of Oga are a UNESCO-designated intangible cultural heritage, though this one had taken on a somewhat non-traditional task, turning feeding time for the horse mackerel, sardines and other fish in the tank into a must-see show for aquarium visitors.

    (Japanese original by Atsuko Ishizuka, Yokohama Bureau)

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