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Japan’s “Naked Man Festival” is Coming to an End

naked man festival japan

Featured photo by This-is-Fukushima via Flickr

Japan’s Somin-sai Festival, more commonly known as the “Naked Man Festival,” has been taking place at the Kokusekiji Temple for over a thousand years, according to the people who run the Kokusekiji Temple. But Saturday, Feb. 17 was the last rodeo.

The all-night festival, which has traditionally taken place on the seventh day of the Lunar New Year, involves hundreds of naked or almost naked men wrestling over a bag of charms. They also worship naked, set fire to things and, this is weird, partake in the 4 a.m. “Climbing of the Demons,” where “Two seven years old boys (ONIGO), wearing clothes made of hemp and with demon masks upside-down on their backs, climb up to the main hall while being carried on the backs of two men.” There’s more info on the temple’s website.

They’re not doing it anymore because the guys who show up are getting too old and their kids aren’t interested. But luckily Japan still has its penis festival.

“This decision is due to the aging of individuals involved in the festival and a shortage of successors,” announced Daigo Fujinami, chief priest of the Kokusekiji Temple.

“It’s sad to see the festival end. We want to make it a memorable festival,” 49-year-old Toshiaki Kikuchi told NHK. “I participated in it, and I think it turned out to be a festival like that.” This is the English translation of whatever he said.

Written by Editorial Team

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