JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Last additions - Konomiya Hadaka Matsuri 国府宮はだか祭
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Closeup of giant mochi. Solid as a rock.Mar 09, 2007
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More giant mochi offered to the shrine. Notice the forklift. 大鏡餅奉納Mar 09, 2007
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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.Mar 09, 2007
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Inside the shrine hall.Mar 09, 2007
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Tree surrounded with cloth strips called Naoi-gireMar 09, 2007
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The window where the Sacred Man entered.Mar 09, 2007
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TV reporter with this year's Sacred Man (Kami-otoko), Kato Norihiko, from Ichinomiya 神男:加藤 典彦Mar 09, 2007
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Maybe this is the Sacred Man being pulled into the window.Mar 09, 2007
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Sometimes a man from the window jumps into the crowd to grab and take in the Sacred Man.Mar 09, 2007
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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Mar 09, 2007
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When the Sacred Man enters the window, everyone cheers.Mar 09, 2007
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The men are shouting "Kami-o Kami-o" (another way of pronouncing the kanji for Kami-otoko). 神男Mar 09, 2007
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Giant mochi inside the Haiden hall. 大鏡餅奉納Mar 09, 2007
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This is the small window the Sacred Man has to enter. It has a sprinkler system.Mar 09, 2007
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Mar 09, 2007
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TV reporter with this year's Sacred Man (Kami-otoko), Kato Norihiko 神男:加藤 典彦Mar 09, 2007
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All the men want to touch the Sacred Man, believing that it will dispel bad luck.Mar 09, 2007
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All the men look in the direction of the Sacred Man.Mar 09, 2007
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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.Mar 09, 2007
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Mar 09, 2007
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The festival is over.Mar 09, 2007
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Men with buckets come for a refill.Mar 09, 2007
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The men in the window give directions to the Sacred Man.Mar 09, 2007
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Water supplyMar 09, 2007
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Mar 09, 2007
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They get pretty crazy, getting more water.Mar 09, 2007
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The Sacred Man struggles to reach the small window.Mar 09, 2007
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Konomiya Hadaka Festival, Inazawa, Aichi Pref.Mar 09, 2007
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Men start to pour into the shrine.Mar 09, 2007
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Stacking up the poles.Mar 09, 2007
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Mar 09, 2007
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It was a pretty cold day, and these men were drinking all afternoon.Mar 09, 2007
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Splashing waterMar 09, 2007
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They are waiting for the Sacred Man.Mar 09, 2007
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Now they start to splash cold water on the men, and some of the spectators.Mar 09, 2007
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Mar 09, 2007
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Gaijin talking to gaijin. Sounded Australian. English teacher at junior high.Mar 09, 2007
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Banzai cheers when an extra-large pole was brought to the shrine.Mar 09, 2007
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Gaijin girls had an easy time attracting men who happily tried to converse in English and bestow cloth strips.Mar 09, 2007
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Haiden Hall where the men offer their long poles. 拝殿Mar 09, 2007
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Some of the men tear off strips from their handband and give them to bystanders.Mar 09, 2007
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The inner path to the shrine gets more crowded.Mar 09, 2007
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Haiden Hall 拝殿Mar 09, 2007
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Now empty, this path will soon be filled with thousands of men in loincloths.Mar 09, 2007
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After passing through this gate, the men enter the shrine grounds. Romon Gate 楼門Mar 09, 2007
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Romon Gate 楼門Mar 09, 2007
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Another toriiMar 09, 2007
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Zig-zag to the shrineMar 09, 2007
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Konomiya Shrine torii and the long path to the shrine is lined with a large crowd.Mar 09, 2007
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Numerous groups of near-naked men (no women) proceed to the shrine all afternoon.Mar 09, 2007
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On the straight road from Inazawa Station to Konomiya Shrine.Mar 09, 2007
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They zig-zag along the street, and they are filled with sake.Mar 09, 2007
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Raising a pole in front of Inazawa StationMar 09, 2007
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Every once in a while, they raise their pole.Mar 09, 2007
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Mar 09, 2007
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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.Mar 09, 2007
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Raising a pole in front of Inazawa StationMar 09, 2007
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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Mar 09, 2007
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