shiyakujin no hokora
A Book of Little Traditions
shiyakujin no hokoraTable of ContentsIndexBibliographyBackForward
ToCCharacteristicsshintô and Sex

shintô and Sex – 06 / 08 / 2014
shintô is quite open in its treatment of fertility and sexuality. shintô practices and ideas are mainly concerned with living this life. Both sex and fertility are an integral part of the circle of life.
shintô fertility festivals held annually in Japan are penis-venerating celebrations that involve phallic processions. Japan hosts a number of these festivals. The Kanamara matsuri is held each spring at the Kanayama shrine in Kawasaki, Japan. The exact dates vary: the main festivities fall on the first Sunday in April. The penis, as the central theme of the event – is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade. The hônen matsuri is a fertility festival celebrated every year on March 15. The hônen matsuri and ceremony celebrate the blessings of a bountiful harvest and all manner of prosperity and fertility.
A hadaka matsuri is a type of Japanese matsuri, in which participants wear a minimum amount of clothing; usually just a Japanese loincloth (called fundoshi), sometimes with a short happi coat, and rarely completely naked. Whatever the clothing, it is considered to be above everyday undergarments, and on the level of holy Japanese shrine attire. Naked festivals are held in dozens of places throughout Japan. These matsuri often happen in one of two times of year, but rarely both times at the same place. It is common that mud is involved in the festivities in some way, and this no doubt lends to the entertainment. hadaka matsuri held in summer tend to involve participants in loincloths carrying mikoshi. hadaka matsuri held in winter tend to involve ritual purification by water followed by a mass fight for a holy object (such as a stick, jewel, etc). Participants are often adult males, who try to cultivate a strong image; however, young boys and girls have been known at times to participate, and in this sense the festival can become a rite of passage for young participants. Most naked festivals limit participation to adult males, but many have separate events where youth may participate, allowing communities to pass their traditions from generation to generation.
hadaka matsuri はだかまつり 裸祭
hadaka (naked, nude, uncovered, partially clothed)
matsuri (ritual, offer prayers, celebrate, worship)

❖ Naked Festival
hônen matsuri ほうねんまつり 豊年祭
hou (bountiful, excellent, rich)
nen (year)
matsuri (ritual, offer prayers, celebrate, worship)

❖ Fruitful Year Festival
kanamara matsuri かなまらまつり 金魔羅祭
kana (metal, gold)
ma (witch, demon, evil spirit)
ra (gauze, thin silk)
mara (obstacle to Buddhist practice, penis)
matsuri (ritual, offer prayers, celebrate, worship)

❖ Metal Penis Festival

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