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Konomiya Shrine holds the Hadaka (Naked or Nude) Festival in early March, or Jan. 13 of the lunar calendar. Men in loincloths parade around the streets until they reach the shrine.A Sacred Man (Shin-otoko) also appears in the shrine and the men try to touch him before he slips into the shrine's window. The festival's real name is Naoi-shinji 儺追神事 which is a rite to dispel bad luck. Photo: Nearest station is JR Inazawa Station on the Tokaido Line. 稲沢駅
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A group of men carry a red and white pole in front of Inazawa Station, on their way to Konomiya Shrine.
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Raising a pole in front of Inazawa Station
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Raising a pole in front of Inazawa Station
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They zig-zag along the street, and they are filled with sake.
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Every once in a while, they raise their pole.
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On the straight road from Inazawa Station to Konomiya Shrine.
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Konomiya Shrine torii and the long path to the shrine is lined with a large crowd.
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Numerous groups of near-naked men (no women) proceed to the shrine all afternoon.
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Zig-zag to the shrine
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Another torii
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Romon Gate 楼門
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After passing through this gate, the men enter the shrine grounds. Romon Gate 楼門
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Haiden Hall where the men offer their long poles. 拝殿
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Haiden Hall 拝殿
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Now empty, this path will soon be filled with thousands of men in loincloths.
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Some of the men tear off strips from their handband and give them to bystanders.
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Gaijin talking to gaijin. Sounded Australian. English teacher at junior high.
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Gaijin girls had an easy time attracting men who happily tried to converse in English and bestow cloth strips.
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The inner path to the shrine gets more crowded.
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It was a pretty cold day, and these men were drinking all afternoon.
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Banzai cheers when an extra-large pole was brought to the shrine.
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Stacking up the poles.
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Men start to pour into the shrine.
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They are waiting for the Sacred Man.
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Now they start to splash cold water on the men, and some of the spectators.
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Water supply
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Splashing water
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Men with buckets come for a refill.
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They get pretty crazy, getting more water.
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Konomiya Hadaka Festival, Inazawa, Aichi Pref.
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All the men look in the direction of the Sacred Man.
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All the men look in the direction of the Sacred Man, but few can actually see him or touch him for good luck.
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The Sacred Man struggles to reach the small window.
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The men are shouting "Kami-o Kami-o" (another way of pronouncing the kanji for Kami-otoko). 神男
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This is the small window the Sacred Man has to enter. It has a sprinkler system.
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All the men want to touch the Sacred Man, believing that it will dispel bad luck.
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The men in the window give directions to the Sacred Man.
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Sometimes a man from the window jumps into the crowd to grab and take in the Sacred Man.
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Maybe this is the Sacred Man being pulled into the window.
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When the Sacred Man enters the window, everyone cheers.
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The festival is over.
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The window where the Sacred Man entered.
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Inside the shrine hall.
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TV reporter with this year's Sacred Man (Kami-otoko), Kato Norihiko, from Ichinomiya 神男:加藤 典彦
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TV reporter with this year's Sacred Man (Kami-otoko), Kato Norihiko 神男:加藤 典彦
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Giant kagami mochi, rice cake in the Haiden Hall. Over 2 meters tall and over 2 meters diameter. Weighs 4 tons. They are to be cut into small pieces (with a chain saw) and given away the next morning.
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More giant mochi offered to the shrine. Notice the forklift. 大鏡餅奉納
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Giant mochi inside the Haiden hall. 大鏡餅奉納
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Closeup of giant mochi. Solid as a rock.
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Tree surrounded with cloth strips called Naoi-gire
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Cloth strips (100 yen each) to ward off bad luck 厄除けの ”なおいぎれ” 初穂料 1本 100円
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