In a small town in Hiroshima called Koyaura, the third weekend of every October is the autumn festival. A festival the children of the town dread.

Terrifying demons known as ‘Makka’ chase the children of the town and when he catches them they get a savage hit with a stick.

Sometimes the demon will also attempt to kidnap the child.

The only thing that can abate the demon is if the child promises to be good from now on. Parents even willingly give their child up to be beaten and kidnapped.

This tradition, native to Koyaura is over 100 years old. It is believed that if you send your child out for a quick, relatively painless whipping by the demons, he or she won’t get sick for the whole year. The idea that the child will behave well after their encounter could also have something to do with it...

Although it seems a bit extreme at first, the kids actually seem to take it as a bit of fun. In some videos older children can even be seen taunting the demon so he chases them.

Others will take post-beating photos with him.

Whatever you think of this festival, the town’s commitment to preserving tradition is certainly impressive. You won’t catch me there on the 3rd Saturday of October though…

By - grape Japan editorial staff.