FOTD - The Hounen Matsuri, 3/15
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 100 06:07:25 -0800
Subject: FOTD - The Hounen Matsuri, 3/15
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-- by Anna Sheftel
To all of you silly people who subscribe to cultural stereotypes, and who
buy into the idea that the entirety of that lovely country named Japan is
reserved and repressed about all things sexual -- you've obviously never
visited Komaki in March. March 15th, to be exact. If you had, then the
Hounen Matsuri would surely have proven you very wrong.
What am I blathering on about, exactly? The Hounen Matsuri, or Tagata
Fertility Festival, takes place every March 15th in Komaki, a town about
2 hours from Tokyo, and it is a very special festival indeed. A very real
Shinto religious celebration, it centres around an 8-foot wooden penis
which is paraded down the streets on a shrine. An important symbol of
fertility, the shrine makes its way down to the Tagata temple, with a priest
in the lead, to be worshipped. Specially carved out of a cypress tree trunk
the whole thing is carried by 20 men in a sort of parade, and everyone is
there to watch.
It really is fun for the whole family. Men, women and children flock to
this event, and there are many penis lollipops, chachkas and sake sake sake
to enjoy. You've got women marching down the street with smaller penises
that can be touched on the tip for good health for the family. Because what
is more lucky than a 2-foot wooden penis? Nothing, I tell you.
Once the shrine gets to the temple, it is ceremoniously placed in the main
room, and it stays there 'til the next year so that people can pray to it.
Then, it's given away to some local establishment once the next 1000 pound
penis comes along. Around the temple and the entire town, you will see
penises of all shapes and sizes proudly displayed. Penises here aren't just
sex organs, they're celebrated religious symbols of fertility, and so no
one gets all prudish around them.
For some, this is an important religious festival and for some it's a crazy
good time. All's I know is that thousands of penises parading down the
street is something every person needs to see at one point in their
lifetime. And don't freak out about this overwhelming fixation with male
genitilia, there is a Vagina festival later in the year! Woo! It doesn't
get much cooler than that, does it?
No, no it doesn't.
So let this be a lesson to you, ladies. Cultural stereotypes? They suck.
What happens when you believe them? You end up oblivious to some of the
craziest cool shit around.
March 15th, if you're around Komaki, watch out- the penises are coming out
© 2000 Peter Langston