Fodor's Expert Review Naramachi Museum
So just what are those red cloth animals on pieces of rope outside houses in Nara? Called migawarizaru (substitute monkeys), they are hung on the eaves of houses to ward off illness and accidents. There is a monkey for every member of a household ready to suffer illness and accidents in place of its owner. The migawarizaru are just one of the many traditions that have lived on in Nara-machi. The Nara-machi Shiryokan displays many other artifacts relating to the history of this neighborhood.