However, in Japanese society, there are plenty of opportunities to let your hair down — they just tend to be very clearly delineated. So while you may get wildly drunk at the office nomikai drinking party and sing some ill-advised karaoke numbers with your boss, on Monday all will be forgiven and forgotten. After all, Japan is facing an unprecedented demographic challenge with its declining birth rate. With the government backing everything from child allowances to officially sanctioned speed-dating, it seems the perfect time for the resurgence of an ancient fertility festival. Here, fluid gender identities and sexualities across the spectrum are celebrated, the most visible example being the group of cross-dressing men and transwomen who carry one of the portable shrines. Its origins can be traced back to an ancient Japanese legend.
Inside The Japanese Festival Dedicated Entirely To Penises
You say festival, you think Glastonbury. Glitter on your face, flowers in your hair and booze on your breath. Unless you are in Japan in April, in which case your first thought is probably about giant penises. The day-long festival takes place on the first Sunday of April at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, a city just south of Tokyo.
Penises everywhere – here’s what happens at Japan’s annual phallus festival Shinto Kanamra Matsuri
Special penis shrine books will even be available for the first time this year. This steel shaft then destroyed the demon, instantly restoring fertility, and now a phallus replica and the spirit of the blacksmith is preserved at the shrine, with both being paraded around the neighbourhood once a year in a lively celebration involving more than 50, attendees. This year, the festival will be held on 7 April, and organisers have just announced the rundown of events and activities for the day, which are as follows:.
Selena Hoy joins the crowd. For centuries, Kanayama has been a place where couples pray for fertility and marital harmony; during the Edo era, from the 17th to 19th centuries, sex workers would come and pray to be rid of the STIs that they picked up in the course of the job. There was even a festival revolving around fertility and sexual health during those times — but the tradition was lost in the late s.