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Fertility festival

32 Comments

Fans take part in Kawasaki's annual Kanamara Matsuri (Festival of the Phallus) on Sunday. The fertility festival is held to pray for protection against STDs. PHOTO BY ERIKA ARAGON

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32 Comments
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It's this kind of matsuri that reminds me why I miss japan so much.

That said, if they really intend to pray for protection against STD, I suggest they find a giant rubber to wrap their shrine in. Wrapping rope and folded paper around you kanamara is not only not going to help agains STD, but could cause serious harm to you and your partner.

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Odd picture to chose to highlight this festival as it sort of skews the whole inference of the event from its tradition towards it being just another street parade for knobbly-kneed, over-the-hill transvestites.

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If you had to choose which one? Left or right? You had to choose.

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I was there :-) It was a blast.

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"there are a couple of shrines featuring vaginas somewhere"

As well there should be.

As for why the mikoshi is so small... we'll have to forego any stereotype jokes! Maybe it's modeled after an infant?

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Eeeeek! It's two European guys on a Japanese vacation!

There's another fertility festival near Nagoya, I think, and if I remember right there are a couple of shrines featuring vaginas somewhere. I seem to recall that these are originally Shinto shrines worshipping the earth and its power to create...has anyone visited any of the other places?

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Oh puh-lease. Japan can have all of the fertility festivals it wants to. The crossdressers can have a good time if they want to. The only question I have is.. why is that phallus mikoshi so small?

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And to the prudes. I suppose then, that the National Geographic and the Discovery Channel are "lewd" for showing, OMG! naked breasts and men in clad only in penis sheaths! Naked tribal men and women! Naked tribal Children! This constitutes child pornography! Worship of the phallus is one of the oldest forms of deity-worship, and understandably so; as ancient cultures depended heavily on high birth rates.

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Misleading caption. The actual festival is men in priests robes carrying a wooden un-painted phallus that is thrice the size of the that pink one. Women wishing for successful pregnancy are invited to straddle the wooden phallus as the preists chant mantras to the fertility god. The pink phallus and the Okamas are some 2-chome lady-dudes trying to jump the bandwagon.

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mostly the lewdness and grotesque aspect of the photo is amusing. Life is too short to get up in arms about this kind of thing. This is no more lewd than the average Lingerie billboard, or music video, and is in fact less so because it is done with humour.

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The festival has a long tradition, the "gay parade" aspect is new. I have been there before, and this is the first time I see this.

No excuse with "tradition" or "culture" for those "lifestyle" perps in the photo, and the editors who chose it.

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I'm going to have to agree with notimpressed. The people who are saying that this is "inappropriate" and what not need to understand that every culture has its differences. I'm an American and I personally find our (American) society is generally full of uptight twits who think they know whats best for everybody. If children visit this site, then allow them to have a cultural experience and see what happens in a far away country, it won't harm them ... seriously. If you don't want your children seeing this, then don't let them visit JT while this picture is on the front page, that's all it takes. But if they use the computer whenever they feel like it, then they've probably found some worse stuff than this, sorry to break the news to you.

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Greentea - I wouldn't be surprised if these guys were hetrosexual doing this for a lark. One nice thing about japan is that there isn't the same kind of overt prejudice against gays or effeminity that there is in other countries where such intolerance is advocated by religious doctrine.

What is lewd about the poses - showing a bit of leg but nothing more than in a sumo photo or a omikoshi festival. I see nothing lewd in this whatsoever. Are you being serious?

Peace

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Mainly the lewd poses by the crossdressers. JT wouldn't tolerate heterosexual males strinking similar lewd poses - so why are these queens ok?

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greentea - is it the two cross dressers that offend you, or the large pink chinko in the background?

Peace

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Why are these two "queens" allowed to strike these lewd poses? C'mon JT, change the photo fer chrissakes!

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It's an old fertility festival, and not about STDs at all. It's where folks go to pray for the birth of children, and the tradition includes a story about a blacksmith and a noblewoman that is interesting, and which really should have been included in this article. That the festival is attended by lots of transvestites and lots of U.S. servicemen, among others, is incidental to its purpose. The festival is open to everyone though, and can be a lot of fun for all.

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What kids want to read Japan today? It's just a festival and a bit of a laugh, all the prudes need to take a deep breath and get over it. Theres no nudity, and its a festival that goes on outside in the public streets. Not everyones idea of perverion is the same. I think its pretty gross myself, but who cares, no harm no foul.

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JT - Do we have to have these two perverted degenerates so prominently displayed on your site? remember that kids see this site and I don't think it is appropriate.

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Fertility Matsuri...gone are the days...Will God listen to such prayers knowing that people dont opt for children? (declining birth rate in Japan is the biggest proof of all )

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What a sad and sick society Japan is. While claiming to be progressive and a member of the 21st Century world, this ridiculous and depraved "festival" shows the truth about Japan. Its still in the Dark Ages!

No doubt 21st century science could help them grow beyond 2 inches. I am a rice queen, I can back that up.

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What a sad and sick society Japan is. While claiming to be progressive and a member of the 21st Century world, this ridiculous and depraved "festival" shows the truth about Japan. Its still in the Dark Ages!

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Aren't fertility festivals primarily held to pray for fertility? It may have been hijacked by high-risk minorities fir their agenda, but if it's a fertility festival it's surely meant to ask the Gods for fertility - of women and crops.

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Wow! Isn't religion convenient? You can make up a god to bless your sin and preferred lifestyle.

I see one of the above posters said that this is not a festival to pray for protection against STDs. If so, then this post is irrelevant. I wrote it based on what the news report said.

<strong>Moderator: The caption is correct.</strong>

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I think I`ve just gone blind!! why are there not two hotties instead of that nasty piece of work. am off to splash water on face now and rub my eyes.

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Well all I can say is that bloke on the left's nose needs a condom on it I reckon. And the world's worst knees to boot. What a hooter....!

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Haha, hilarious post Eastokyo. This festival once seemed popular among prostitutes, who prayed for good business and for the protection against sexually transmitted diseases. And what about those girls suckling on penis shapes candy?

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The story is NOT correct! It's not now and never has been, a festival for 'protection against STD's' - where the news reporter gets his/her information from is questionable.

The festival is to celebrate the penis (can we still use this word given the amount of squeamish idiots in the world today who still live by Victorian values?) as a bringer of life.

And who came up with this festival? A man! In the vain hopes of stirring the sexual interests of young women! Why don't we have a similar festival for female genitalia? That's one I'd be more than happy to attend! But, oh, I forgot, we live in a world where just thinking about sex as a man, means you're some kind of sick pervert!

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jerseyboy - surely using a condom would be to renounce your faith in the gods to protect you from todger-related diseases?

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eastokyo...very funny. Glad you said it, and not me. I'd be classified as just being "racist", but you can get away with it. One question though. If the event is held to "pray for protection against STD's" wouldn't it be better if the large pink unit had a condom on? I think most folks agree those are more effective than praying.

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I remember reading somewhere that the majority of attendees are gaijin. Anyway, I think putting that piccie on your front page might not be too advisable given the strictness of US locations for NSFW material.

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The fertility festival is held to pray for protection against STDs.

If that's indeed right, then maybe they shouldn't have invited the two she-men at the front. More likely it has to do with Japan's unspoken homosexual past and present and the fact their little fellas don't even make two inches.

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