Wow, Japan, is that a giant wooden phallus in your hot springs, or are you just happy to see m–oh. I see. Well, uh, I’ll just be on my way then. Um…maybe one quick photo…
As you are surely already aware, Japan has quite a few unusual, phallic festivals allegedly intended to be fertility rites for couples hoping for children. They’re also great attractions for curious tourists or anyone who wants to try frosted penis-bananas. Iwate Prefecture, perhaps not wanting to be left out, has a phallus festival of its own. Its standout feature? The phallus riding event! And, great news, ladies, they’re taking applications!
(Before clicking below, use your best judgement about whether or not this is something you should be reading at work.)
To be held this year on April 29, the Osawa Hot Spring Konsei Festival is the perfect destination for anyone looking to get a bun in the oven as the giant wooden phallus is said to help female participants get married or pregnant. It is supposed to be particularly effective for women who hop on top and take the phallus for a ride in the water.
See, this isn’t just another “take the big penis statues out and wave them around” event–there’s actual work to be done! The phallus is normally stored at Konsei Shrine up in the mountains, but during the winter months it is brought down and kept at a temporary shrine near the hot springs. Before returning it to its proper location, the wooden statue, made from a zelkova tree, obviously needs to be washed.
▼ We’ve never seen anyone looking so disappointed at the sight of a group
of men carrying a giant wooden penis as that old man in the background.
▼ Hey, what’s that they’re…oh.
After, the giant piece of wood and accompanying ceremonial testicles are carried to the hot springs–which is a symbolic vagina, if you can believe that–by a group of strapping young lads. There, it is floated in the water while a group of women wash the penis, which weighs around 150 kilograms (about 330 pounds) and is 1.4 meters (about 4 feet and 7 inches) long. Finally, a few lucky women ride the phallus as it bobs along in the water.
If you’re thinking, “Man, I’d love to be a giant penis rider,” you may be in luck. The festival organizers recently put out a call looking for three women to take the giant member for a spin! Since the hot springs aren’t particularly big, people not selected to participate aren’t allowed in the water during the cleaning, making selection a rare honor. They even proudly advertise that one of the women who mounted the phallus last year is already pregnant–so don’t sign up unless you’re serious!
▼ Married and pregnant in a year or your money back!
Fortunately, the event is no dour affair–it’s known for being a good laugh. Though we’re not sure how wise it is to laugh at a deity’s dangly bits. Isn’t that how stories about people getting turned into animals start?
You can check out a video of the wash’n’ride below.
There are other events–like a shinto priest praying, taiko drumming, and an oni dance–but we all know it’s just awkward foreplay leading up to prom night. Sorry, I mean the hot springs wash! You can see photos of these other events–set to the most unnecessarily epic sound track since Top Gun–in the video slide show below.
▼This is either the best or worst choice for music ever.
If you’re a Japanese-speaking woman looking for a man or a baby, be sure to check out this website for more information on signing up to ride the giant penis. Space is obviously limited, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get selected, but it can’t hurt to try, right?