Last additions - Tagata Shrine Honen Festival 田縣神社 豊年祭
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Wood carvings. Also see the video at YouTube.Mar 17, 2007
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LollipopsMar 17, 2007
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Mar 17, 2007
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The bottom of the woman figurine. Naughty, naughty...Mar 17, 2007
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Sake flaskMar 17, 2007
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Senbei crackersMar 17, 2007
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Mar 17, 2007
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Demure-looking woman figurine looks deceiving until you look at the bottom...Mar 17, 2007
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At 4 pm, the festival's final event is the mochi-nage or rice-cake tossing. First, they warn eveyone that the shrine won't be liable for any injury you might incur from this. And the elderly and children should avoid this mochi-nage.Mar 17, 2007
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A large crowd tries to catch numerous mochi which are hard and can be dangerous if it hits you on the face or head. To avoid injury, do not look down and don't try to pick up mochi on the ground. You can get trampled, and most injuries occur this way.Mar 17, 2007
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The usual penis souvenirs on sale.Mar 17, 2007
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Mar 17, 2007
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Installed inside the shrine's Honden main hall, the new giant penis will replace the old one.Mar 17, 2007
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Ema votive tablet with giant penis portable shrine. 500 yen.Mar 17, 2007
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Pregnant women also attend the festival. As well as mothers with a young baby coming to give thanks.Mar 17, 2007
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Now comes the giant phallus heading for the shrine's main hall.Mar 17, 2007
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Also see the video at YouTube.Mar 17, 2007
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Carried by men singing kiyari laborers' songs, the smaller wooden phallus also goes to enter the shrine's main hall.Mar 17, 2007
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Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-MikotoMar 17, 2007
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Tagata Jinja banners.Mar 17, 2007
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Tagata Shrine grounds during the Honen Festival.Mar 17, 2007
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Giant phallus makes its way to the shrine.Mar 17, 2007
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The giant phallus in front Tagata Shrine's Honden main hall.Mar 17, 2007
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Palanquin for Deity of HarvestsMar 17, 2007
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Penetration successful. This is 3:30 pm.Mar 17, 2007
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The giant penis also arrives at the shrine as it spins around behind theMar 17, 2007
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The phallus is a symbol for themes of fertility.Mar 17, 2007
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Women spectators touch the penis for good fortune and to become fertile perhaps?Mar 17, 2007
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Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto enters the Honden main hall.Mar 17, 2007
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The standard-bearer with a banner of shunga-style penis painting.Mar 17, 2007
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Sarutahiko-no-OkamiMar 17, 2007
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Mar 17, 2007
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Salt sprinkler enters first.Mar 17, 2007
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Tagata Shrine crowded with people waiting for the procession to arrive.Mar 17, 2007
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Entrance to Tagata Shrine crowded with people waiting for the procession to arrive.Mar 17, 2007
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Banner of shunga-style penis painting.Mar 17, 2007
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By this time, all the men are filled with sake and gregarious.Mar 17, 2007
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On the main road.Mar 17, 2007
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Finally on the main road to Tagata Shrine. Half the road is blocked off for the procession.Mar 17, 2007
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Tagata Shrine crowded with people waiting for the procession to arrive.Mar 17, 2007
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DrumMar 17, 2007
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Mar 17, 2007
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Not sure what this is.Mar 17, 2007
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Sarutahiko-no-Okami, the deity who led the descent of Amaterasu (Sun Goddess) from heaven to earth.Mar 17, 2007
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Tagata Shrine Honen-sai Festival. Also see the video at YouTube.Mar 17, 2007
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Takeinadane-no-Mikoto1 commentsMar 17, 2007
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Mar 17, 2007
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The first half of the route is quite narrow.Mar 17, 2007
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Salt sprinkler heads the procession to purify the way.Mar 17, 2007
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Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-MikotoMar 17, 2007
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The route is short, but it's a slow procession with many short breaks. The procession lasts 1.5 hours.Mar 17, 2007
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Also see the video at YouTube. Honen-sai Festival, Tagata Shrine Honen Festival.Mar 17, 2007
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Mar 17, 2007
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Branches of the sacred sakaki tree.Mar 17, 2007
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Maidens who are 36 years old, carry wooden penises for protection during their "unlucky age" (yakudoshi).Mar 17, 2007
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Sake cartMar 17, 2007
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Toshi-gami deity of harvests.Mar 17, 2007
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Where the penis goes, the crowd follows.Mar 17, 2007
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Toshi-gami deity of harvests is pulled on a palanquin instead of being carried.Mar 17, 2007
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The giant phallus by itself weighs about 280 kg (620 lbs.). The total weight of both the phallus and portable shrine housing is 400 kg (885 lbs.).Mar 17, 2007
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Next is a palanquin (not mikoshi) for the Toshi-gami deity of harvests. 御歳神Mar 17, 2007
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They spin around the phallus.Mar 17, 2007
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The second mikoshi features the giant penis carried by 12 men at a time, all of whom are age 42, considered to be an unlucky age (yakudoshi) for men. They seek protection by carrying the phallus.Mar 17, 2007
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Takeinadane-no-MikotoMar 17, 2007
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The procession goers down the slope in front of Kumano Shrine.Mar 17, 2007
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Sarutahiko-no-Okami, the deity who led the descent of Amaterasu (Sun Goddess) from heaven to earth.Mar 17, 2007
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People waiting for the procession in front of Kumano Shrine.Mar 17, 2007
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Men in happi coats which read "Honen Matsuri." Honen literally means "year of abundant harvest."Mar 17, 2007
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The giant phallus is called "O-owasegata." It is an offering, and not a deity nor object of worship. Tagata Shrine Honen Festival. A total of 60 men take turns carrying the giant phallus portable shrine. 大男茎形Mar 17, 2007
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People waiting for the procession in front of Kumano Shrine.Mar 17, 2007
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Breaking the sake barrelMar 17, 2007
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The first mikoshi is for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto coming to visit his wife of Tamahime at Tagata Shrine, where Tamahime's residence was located.Mar 17, 2007
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People waiting for the procession along the shrine steps. (Not a good place to watch the procession.)Mar 17, 2007
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SakeMar 17, 2007
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The procession is ready to start from Kumano Shrine.Mar 17, 2007
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Gozensai ceremony before the start of the penis procession. Tagata Shrine Honen MatsuriMar 17, 2007
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Mikoshi (portable shrine) bearers gather in front of Kumano Shrine.Mar 17, 2007
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Gozensai prayer ceremony before the start of the procession.Mar 17, 2007
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Sake flows freely.Mar 17, 2007
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Gozensai ceremony before the start of the procession.Mar 17, 2007
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Many foreigners also join in the fun. The giant phallus was originally about 1 meter long and paraded by itself by 4-5 people with no portable shrine shelter.Mar 17, 2007
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Procession maidens pose with the giant penis. The giant phallus was then partially hidden by the portable shrine as it is today. But this made the phallus become larger to 2.5 meters, as if to compensate for this partial shielding.Mar 17, 2007
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Lots of people pose with the giant penis. Amid hordes of amateur photographersMar 17, 2007
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The short prayer ceremony ends.Mar 17, 2007
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Procession maidens pose with wooden penises.Mar 17, 2007
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Palanquin maidens.Mar 17, 2007
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Procession maidens pose with wooden penises. Tagata Shrine Honen FestivalMar 17, 2007
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Banner with ukiyoe shunga-style painting of a penis.Mar 17, 2007
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Another mikoshi with a wooden penis. For a good harvest.Mar 17, 2007
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Conch shellMar 17, 2007
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Nose jobI didn't see this among the souvenirs being sold. Wonder where he got it.Mar 17, 2007
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Front view. A new giant, wooden phallus is carved every year since newly-made objects are considered to have more purity and vitality.Mar 17, 2007
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The second portable shrine and main attraction. It is 2.5 meters (13 feet) long, 60 cm diameter, and weighs about 300 kg. It takes 10 days to carve it from a cypress log.Mar 17, 2007
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It might look light brown here, but it looks more pinkish. It is carved in winter from a hinoki cypress tree by a master artisan wearing ceremonially-purified clothing and using traditional tools.Mar 17, 2007
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Maiden poses with the giant penis. In the past, the phallus was attached to a straw effigy of a warrior, but it was deemed too raunchy and discontinued.Mar 17, 2007
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Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto who was a local prince married to Tamahime which Tagata Shrine worships.Mar 17, 2007
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Kumano-sha Shrine, the starting point of the procession or "Penis Parade." 熊野社Mar 17, 2007
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Torii gate to Kumano-sha Shrine.Mar 17, 2007
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Inside Kumano Shrine. Notice the wooden penises on lower left.Mar 17, 2007
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Old wooden phallus offered at Okunomiya Hall. More photos of Tagata Shrine here.Mar 17, 2007
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People line up to rub the sacred balls. Penis rock in the foreground.Mar 17, 2007
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Schedule of events and procession route. In odd-numbered years (like 2007), the procession starts from nearby Kumano-sha Shrine. In even-numbered years, the procession starts from Shinmei-sha Shrine.Mar 17, 2007
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Sacred Balls. Put in money and rub the left and right ball for family safety, business prosperity, safe childbirth, etc. 珍宝窟Mar 17, 2007
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Various entertainment is staged within Tagata Shrine up until the procession starts at 2 pm.Mar 17, 2007
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Festival spectators come by the busload, including people from US military bases such as Yokota.Mar 17, 2007
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Way to Tagata Shrine from Tagata Jinja-mae Station. Shrine famous for numerous phallic objects used as offerings to the gods. The 1500-year-old shrine worships a deity called Tamahime-no-Mikoto who was a daughter of a powerful local lord from the 5th c.The Honen-sai or Honen (Hounen) Matsuri is held by Tagata Jinja on March 15 to pray for an abundant harvest. "Honen" literally means "Year of abudant harvest." Since a giant penis is used as an offering, it is popularly called the "penis festival."

The shrine is near Tagata Jinja-mae Station on the Meitetsu Railways' Komaki Line. From Shin-Nagoya Station or Shin-Gifu Station, go to Inuyama Station and transfer to the Komaki Line.
Mar 17, 2007
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Entering Tagata Shrine, dedicated to Tamahime-no-Mikoto (daughter of a local feudal lord) and Mitoshi-no-Kami (deity of harvests).Mar 17, 2007
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