Every spring in Japan, people gather to take part in a festival to ensure a good harvest and to promote baby making (Japan has one of the world’s lowest birthrates at 1.37 children per woman). This is a tradition that goes back almost 1,500 years. Yes, it is the annual Penis Festival (which took place on March 15) and God bless the Japanese because I’m pretty sure only they could come up with such a celebration.
According to this article, the best-known Penis Festival is in Komaki City, which draws about 100,000 people each year. Some of the events included a parade featuring a huge carved penis made from Japanese cypress as the “grand marshal” and plenty of phallic-shaped treats and souvenirs.
As if this weren’t already awesome enough, Japan also has an annual Vagina Festival which took place this year on March 14—the day before the Penis Festival. Talk about genitalia overload! Similar to the Penis Festival, at the centerpiece of the Vagina Festival is a parade where 40 men carry a massive vagina to the main shrine. There’s a brilliant metaphor in there somewhere.
The prevalent stereotype of Asians is that they are prudish when it comes to sex, but clearly that doesn’t apply to the Japanese. I suspect it may have something to do with the fact that they don’t have the strong influence of religions like Christianity or Islam, which, let’s face it, are killjoys when it comes to sex. But whatever the reason, I would like to just send this message to my Japanese brethren: Never stop being who you are! Bonzai!
Here are some more Penis Festival related pics:
The giant cypress penis:
Women carry penises to protect them from harm and to increase their fertility:
More penis treats–their length symbolizes long life and health:
Enjoying their penis treats:
Wooden penises are given to those people dealing with problems. Once the problem is resolved, the penis is returned to the temple for someone else to take:
Phallic-shaped statues engraved with names of donors to the temple:
Called ema–these are wishes people hang at the temple. They are later burned and the wishes are sent up to the heavens to be answered:
Oh, and finally…uh…if anyone has her phone number and can pass it along, I would much appreciate it:
Photos credited to Jose M. Cruz.