This year on 7 April, the lusty cries of “Kanamara, dekkai mara!” (“steel rod, giant dong!”) will once again ring through town.
Japan, traditionally a country where well-endowed foreigners are very welcome, embraces big penis worship in this very special festival. For the largest erections you’ve ever seen (anyone know Jonah Falcon personally?), save the date: Sunday 7 April 2013 at Kanayama Shrine in Kanagawa. All hail the huge pink peen! It just gets bigger and better every year.
If bigger doesn’t bang your gong, there are a multitude of phalluses of all shapes and sizes. If you’re non-Japanese and you’re interested in this, you’re not alone. An army of Western tourists descends upon the shrine every year, demanding cock.
Back in Edo times, when samurai roamed the land scoffing sushi, ladies of the Kawasaki night used to hold the Jibeta Matsuri (Earth Festival) to pray for divine protection from STDs while increasing profits at the same time. Sadly, things fell into disrepute in the Meiji period, but the ancient festival aroused the attention of Western scholars in the swinging 60s (yeah, baby), leading to a triumphant rebirth as the Kanamara Matsuri (Steel Phallus Festival) in the 70s. The original Earth Festival is included among the other festivities, with proceeds often donated to AIDS prevention groups.
Another legend has it that the festival first began when a beautiful young maiden, suffering from a bad case of vagina dentata, accidentally castrated not one but two young men. Don’t worry, her tragic tale has a happy ending- she was saved by a large iron phallus inserted where it would do the most good, which broke the teeth of the minge monster. Who knew, dildos cure vagina dentata as well as hysteria. The iron phallus then became an object of reverence and was ceremoniously paraded through the town.
There are at least three huge erect wangs you’ll get to see in the parade, bouncing up and down on people’s shoulders. The oldest (but still a goodie) is made of wood, there is another shiny black steel prong riding along in a boat, and the most striking is the bright pink monstrosity incongruously named “Elizabeth”. Elizabeth is so named for the eponymous Asakusa-bashi Cross-dressers Club Elizabeth who kindly donated the dong.
Here’s the schedule for the day. Being a Japanese festival, the schedule will probably be followed punctually.
11:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m. – The Lighting of the Sacred Fire
The fire is lit, and the festival kicks off.
11:15 a.m.-11:45 a.m. – Main Ceremony
The festival ceremony is performed in front of the altar.
11:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – The Infusion of Divine Spirit
Divine spirit is infused into the three phalli- Big Kanamara, Boat Kanamara and Elizabeth (the pink one). Bless them!
12:00 p.m.-12:30 p.m. – The Carving of the Radishes
Radishes are lovingly carved and sculpted into male and female genitalia
1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. – Festival Procession
The moment you’ve been waiting for- the big dicks parade round the town. Also, a lot of people wearing fancy dress.
3:00 p.m.-4:45 p.m. - Jibeta Matsuri (Earth Festival)
The original festival. A straw mat is spread in the shrine grounds, and the drinking party begins!
…or something like that, anyway.
Anyone can freely participate in the parade, and neighbourhood folks might even lend you swords, kimonos and so forth. It has all the usual Japanese festival goodness too- street stalls, drums, great atmosphere, as well as penis lollipops and eye-candy. Apparently it grants increased prosperity in business and romance. And it’s a celebration of the male member- what’s not to love? Hug a penis today, and check out the Kanamara Festival!
We’ll leave you now with a tourist-shot video of the festival. Enjoy!