Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Now THIS festival would be one to go and see....



Bring on the (semi) naked men!!!


The K-man was telling me about a very interesting festival here in Japan...actually, there are many of these particular "get-togethers"....they are called Hadaka Matsuri, or "the naked men festival".

The men who take part in the festival wear a Japanese loincloth, or a "fundoshi", and some comfortable running wear. The festival is held in summer, but the ones in the winter are seemingly more popular.

Okay....so a bunch of men, in fundoshi, go to the temple to be purified by water....then the priests at the temple will throw out sticks, that symbolize the event, that the men will fight over....if you manage to catch a stick, then you will be extra lucky during the year.

One particular festival, in the northern part of Japanand scheduled for this weekend, has been going on for over 800 years!!!

Did I mention that there are sometimes hundreds of men doing this at any given place?!?!?

Before I go any further, let me also explain that in winter.....it's cold!!! Very cold!!! And the water?? Puh-lease!!! Can you say "icy"?!?!




Oh...and then....they may all run up a hill together with people who are clothes (pansies!!!)







And then, it's back to the temple...oops!!! Somebody lost something on the way!!! In one group of pictures there were a bunch of naked and semi-naked men climbing on ropes hanging from the temple roof. I asked the K-man what he thought they were doing....he just shook his head and went to bed!!!

If you want to see some "live action", go to YouTube and search "naked men festival"....it's actually quite amazing to watch....funnier than crap, but still amazing in its own right!!!


Now....as my mind is tired and I need sleep, this just came to me.....This country is just full of contradictions. A couple walking down the street is made to feel uncomfortable if they are holding hands. And kissing on the street or in public?!?!?! Oh My Goodness!!! No No NO!!! Not even a peck on the cheek or a quick one on the lips!!! *Gasp*
But....here we are....in a festival, with semi-naked, completely naked and I'm sure more than a little drunk men running around the town and in the rivers and...it's....okay.
But....I guess...if the temples were to start a "hand holding kiss the ones you love" festival, then it would be okay.
Shoot....they'd probably even make and sell special "good luck" charms to buy to commemorate the event!!!

And my motto over the last 16 plus years has been....."try to see the humor in this Debbie, try to see the humor"!!! If I can't laugh at it....it's time to leave!!!
And here is Debbie.....chuckling to herself as she hits the "Publish Post" button!!!

7 comments:

Mrs. G. said...

I am at a loss for words, and that is rare. I'm going to go and try to find some You Tube footage. Too funny.

Cheri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheri said...

A little bit eeeeew, but a lot funny.

ms-teacher said...

very funny indeed. thanks so much for sharing some of the cultural stuff over there. Japan is one of the places on my to visit list.

Ginaagain said...

They have surprisingly nice butts for a bunch of naked middle-aged men.

Oh my.. something is definitely wrong with me.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

For some reason this is bringing to mind the Seinfeld episode where George has to exclaim "It's shrinkage, don't you know about shrinkage?"

Brave men. I'll have to ask my Japanese co-worker about this fascinating cultural phenomenom.

Karen MEG said...

Hey Debbi, that is hysterical!
Thanks for popping by my little blog.
It must be such an amazing experience to be living in Japan. Quirky indeed! I find many Asian cultures are full of contradictions.

One of my husband and my (and my son's) favourite shows, if we can ever catch it, is Xtreme elimination challenge, which I is taken from a Japanese game/reality type show (you probably know it), and they dub it with English that obviously doesn't match what they're actually saying.

We don't really laugh at the jokes too much, it's the actual obstacle courses and the antics that the contestants do that keep us rolling!