Kanamara Matsuri Festival

WARNING: Anyone who is offended by sex, sexual imagery, and penis and vagina imagery, do not read past this paragraph.  Also not safe for work.  Otherwise enjoy, and laugh, because you know, inside we are all twelve years old.

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It’s great having friends on Facebook, because you can sometimes find good stories to write on your blogs.  Since this blog is dedicated to some of the more weird, wacky stuff out of Japan (other than anime and video games), this blog post takes the cake.  One of my friends had posted pictures of this a few days ago, so of course I had to write about it.  Hold onto your twelve year old selves, because this one is a doozie.

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So at the beginning of April in Kawasaki, Japan, the Kanayama Shrine held it’s annual Kanamara Matsuri Festival. The Kanamara Shrine is a Penis Venerating shrine, part of which why this festival exists.  What also makes this festival so unique (if you can even use that word for this?) is it strictly a festival celebrating all things phallic.  A giant penis is paraded in the streets while patrons pray in the shrine for protection from STD’s or a good sex life while licking penis lollipops.

While a western perspective might think this gross, perverse, or just downright sinful, there is a story/legend behind this festival.  The legend goes that a sharped tooth demon hid himself inside the vagina of a young woman.  She married twice, but on her wedding night, the demon castrated the men she married during sex.  After the second castration, the woman sought out a blacksmith and had him fashion a steel phallus (read: dildo) to break the demons teeth.  The Steel Phallus was then enshrined in the Kanayama Shrine once she was rid of the demon.

The festival started in 1977, but has gained momentum in the last few years.  The festival now attracts many tourists each year, and also raises money for various AIDS research campaigns. So, if you ever find yourself in Kawasaki during the first weekend in April, head down to the shrine to celebrate all things Penis!

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