- 遺産（後出Representative ... Humanityは無形文化遺産リスト〈 intangible は無形の〉）
- "Raiho-shin, ritual ... costumes"
- 「来訪神 仮面・仮装の神々」（ ritual は儀式、deity は神）
- Intergovernmental ... Heritage
- 無形文化遺産保護条約政府間委員会（ intergovernmental は政府間の、safeguarding は保護）
- range from ～ to ...
- ～から…に及ぶ（後出 span ～は～にまたがる）
- (be) designated as ～
- important intangible ... properties
- 重要無形民俗文化財（ folk は民俗の）
- 要求（後出 proposal は提案）
UNESCO added "Raiho-shin, ritual visits of deities in masks and costumes" of Japan to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on Dec. 1.
The decision to add the visits by the deities, known as "raiho-shin" in Japanese, was made during a meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO in Port Louis, Mauritius. As the newly registered visiting deities were added to the existing entry "Koshikijima no Toshidon," a raiho-shin from an island in the southwestern Japanese prefecture of Kagoshima, the number of Japan's intangible cultural heritage listings remains at 21.
In the ritual visit, a person dons a mask and a costume to look like a certain deity, and visits neighborhoods or houses around New Year's Eve, New Year's Day or other special occasions to warn lazy residents and bring luck to the locals. The committee said, "By performing the rituals, local people -- notably children -- have their identities moulded, develop a sense of affiliation to their community, and strengthen ties among themselves."
Besides "Toshidon," which was registered in 2009, the updated listing includes the deities "Oga no Namahage" of Akita Prefecture, "Noto no Amamehagi" of Ishikawa Prefecture along the Sea of Japan, "Miyakojima no Paantou" from Okinawa Prefecture and others ranging from the Tohoku region in the north to Okinawa, spanning eight prefectures. All 10 raiho-shin are already designated as important intangible folk cultural properties by the Japanese government.
As "Namahage" resemble Toshidon, calls to make a separate entry for them on the UNESCO list had been rejected in the past. Because of this, the Japanese government submitted a proposal to have all of the raiho-shin added to a single listing in March 2016.
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