Since I’m a mother, when I hear a baby cry, I instinctually want to do something to soothe her and make her feel better. This story is nuts to me. There is a Baby Crying Festival held in Japan every year where mothers allow sumo wrestlers to scare the crap out of their babies so they will cry very, very loud. The mothers believe this will ward off evil spirits.
The baby that cries the longest is the winner, and there is even a sumo referee who judges the match. The sumo wrestlers hold the babies up high in the air to scare them and make them cry while the mothers pray for good health. This year there were 80 babies (under age 1) in the contest. Apparently this has been going on for 400 years. Are you kidding me? In different parts of Japan, there are different formats for scaring the baby. In the video below, instead of sumo wrestlers, there is a person that makes very scary faces and sticks stuff in the baby’s face to scare her.
Granted, I’m part of a generation of parents that does not use violence with their children. My son has never had a spanking and he’s 9 years old, so maybe I just have a different perspective. To me, this activity is torture. You may ward off evil spirits now, but I hope you like those therapy bills when you kid is 20. As my grandmother used to say, good luck with all that.