Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fertility Festival {LOTS of photos!!!!}

Before I begin, I must advise that if this post had a rating, it would most likely be rated R.  If you have children around or are easily offended, I recommend you stop reading now.
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LAST WARNING
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Ok, here we go!  Sometime last year while searching for festivals in Japan I stumbled upon the Honen Matsuri festival held at the Tagata Shrine in Komaki , just north of Nagoya, and decided it was something I had to experience for myself.  The festival is held on the 15th of March each year.  I had signed up to go on a tour with my friend last spring but it was cancelled due to the earthquake.  This year, I finally got to go.  I went with the expectation that it was going to be like a bachelorette party with 100,000 people and got basically just that {with the unexpected addition of tons of perverse OLD men}.  The festival is held to ensure a plentiful harvest each year.  Not only is agricultural fertility celebrated but also human fertility.

There was some traditional Japanese entertainment



Including a samurai demonstration




and food {okonomiyaki, YUM!}

and beautiful plum blossoms in bloom all around the area.


 OK...THIS IS REALLY YOUR LAST WARNING!
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Then there were PENISES!  Penises EVERYWHERE!

Penis good luck charms,
 penis...I don't know what these things were,
and penis suckers!

 {this woman's face absolutely cracks me up}
Of course we had to have penis bananas!  We wanted a photo so we stopped to take one and about 30 Japanese people decided they wanted a photo of the gaijins {foreigners}.  I wouldn't be surprised if it is on some very inappropriate Japanese website right now!
hours later we saw Japanese girls taking the same photo

After our snack, we headed over to where they had the portable shrine out on display before the parade and found this scene.
A mob of mostly older Japanese men were huddled around the shrine taking photos of anyone and everyone who was posing next to the shrine.  Not only were they taking photos but these 70 year old men {or around that age} were yelling some things in ENGLISH that I never would have guessed they would say out loud.  "Touch big dick", "kiss it", "pistol", "hug big dick", "smooth cock" are just a few of the ones I can remember right now.  We found it mostly comical because the Japanese are traditionally a pretty reserved and quiet society.

It was seriously like the paparazzi!
 This man was by far the most vocal of them all and of course he was wearing an Ohio State jacket.  Turns out he used to work in Ohio and that is where he apparently picked up all his dirty English words!
 After all of that nonsense we decided it was time to grab some lunch before the parade.  I LOVE Japanese festival food and I liked the way they had this set up.  They had a huge parking lot where they set out a ton of milk crates and we sat on those and used one as a table.
Part of the crew eating lunch.

After lunch it was finally parade time!

This man was sprinkling salt on the ground to purify the path.
 This is Sarutahiko-no-okami {a Japanese deity}

 They were followed by the rest of the parade



 Along the route, there were women passing out snacks.
Dried kelp and squid,
 and sake!
{yes, they were passing out free cups of sake and you could take more than one!}
 They were filling the cups from a giant barrel that was part of the procession.

 Next came the main attraction

 Once the portable shrine made it back to the Tagata Shrine,


it was time for the celebration ceremony which consisted of mochi throwing.



We weren't prepared for how competitive it was going to be.  Many people had baseball mitts and bags with them to catch and carry the mochi!




That part of the festival was a bit intense and some people compared it to a mosh pit {having been in many real mosh pits, this didn't actually compare, but like I said, we weren't prepared for the intensity that we witnessed}.

Finally, we boarded our bus for a 6.5 hour ride home.  It was an incredibly long day and I won't ever do this again but I'm glad I can say I had this experience!

2 comments:

Mel said...

I'm not sure that I really understand the whole concept. Could u imagine this in the states?!? Wtf. I'm not even sure they have that much penis paraphernalia at a gay pride festival! Wowzers.
I feel like I'd constantly be saying,"bAHHHhhh! Did u see THAT one?!"

Chantal said...

Wow that's a lot of penises!