JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - Tagata Shrine Honen Festival 田縣神社 豊年祭
124-IMG_9816.jpg
The bottom of the woman figurine. Naughty, naughty...3693 views
031-IMG_9500.jpg
Procession maidens pose with wooden penises.3595 views
030-IMG_9487.jpg
Procession maidens pose with wooden penises. Tagata Shrine Honen Festival3208 views
129-IMG_9399.jpg
Wood carvings. Also see the video at YouTube.2738 views
121-IMG_9414.jpg
Sake flask2504 views
017-IMG_9421.jpg
Old wooden phallus offered at Okunomiya Hall. More photos of Tagata Shrine here.2489 views
128-IMG_9863.jpg
Lollipops2314 views
095-IMG_9699.jpg
The phallus is a symbol for themes of fertility.2200 views
125-IMG_9412.jpg
2019 views
029-IMG_9563.jpg
Nose job2008 viewsI didn't see this among the souvenirs being sold. Wonder where he got it.
126-IMG_9820.jpg
1941 views
022-IMG_9451.jpg
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.1900 views
120-IMG_9813.jpg
1878 views
036-IMG_9521.jpg
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.1695 views
127-IMG_9396.jpg
Senbei crackers1634 views
032-IMG_9501.jpg
1547 views
123-IMG_9819.jpg
Demure-looking woman figurine looks deceiving until you look at the bottom...1544 views
122-IMG_9814.jpg
1523 views
025-IMG_9478.jpg
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.1498 views
015-IMG_9416.jpg
People line up to rub the sacred balls. Penis rock in the foreground.1495 views
027-IMG_9443.jpg
Banner with ukiyoe shunga-style painting of a penis.1343 views
024-IMG_9445.jpg
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.1326 views
037-IMG_9494.jpg
Palanquin maidens.1289 views
040-IMG_9543.jpg
Gozensai ceremony before the start of the penis procession. Tagata Shrine Honen Matsuri1216 views
060-IMG_9435.jpg
Toshi-gami deity of harvests.1209 views
039-IMG_9538.jpg
Gozensai prayer ceremony before the start of the procession.1179 views
016-IMG_9764.jpg
Sacred Balls. Put in money and rub the left and right ball for family safety, business prosperity, safe childbirth, etc. 珍宝窟1123 views
010-IMG_9403.jpg
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.1119 viewsThe 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.
118-IMG_9571.jpg
Pregnant women also attend the festival. As well as mothers with a young baby coming to give thanks.1104 views
033-IMG_9490.jpg
1093 views
119-IMG_9411.jpg
The usual penis souvenirs on sale.995 views
035-IMG_9553.jpg
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.988 views
013-IMG_9408.jpg
Various entertainment is staged within Tagata Shrine up until the procession starts at 2 pm.973 views
044-IMG_9567.jpg
Breaking the sake barrel958 views
028-IMG_9442.jpg
Another mikoshi with a wooden penis. For a good harvest.945 views
057-IMG_9615.jpg
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945 views
041-IMG_9549.jpg
The short prayer ceremony ends.938 views
023-IMG_9450.jpg
Front view. A new giant, wooden phallus is carved every year since newly-made objects are considered to have more purity and vitality.935 views
034-IMG_9562.jpg
Lots of people pose with the giant penis. Amid hordes of amateur photographers928 views
094-IMG_9702.jpg
Women spectators touch the penis for good fortune and to become fertile perhaps?917 views
064-IMG_9643.jpg
Also see the video at YouTube. Honen-sai Festival, Tagata Shrine Honen Festival.880 views
079-IMG_9670.jpg
878 views
026-IMG_9462.jpg
Conch shell866 views
020-IMG_9471.jpg
Inside Kumano Shrine. Notice the wooden penises on lower left.858 views
043-IMG_9472.jpg
Sake857 views
011-IMG_9406.jpg
Festival spectators come by the busload, including people from US military bases such as Yokota.838 views
038-IMG_9532.jpg
Gozensai ceremony before the start of the procession.836 views
018-IMG_9432.jpg
Torii gate to Kumano-sha Shrine.793 views
115-IMG_9808.jpg
Ema votive tablet with giant penis portable shrine. 500 yen.786 views
042-IMG_9525.jpg
Mikoshi (portable shrine) bearers gather in front of Kumano Shrine.778 views
019-IMG_9474.jpg
Kumano-sha Shrine, the starting point of the procession or "Penis Parade." 熊野社776 views
051-IMG_9590.jpg
Sarutahiko-no-Okami, the deity who led the descent of Amaterasu (Sun Goddess) from heaven to earth.774 views
021-IMG_9452.jpg
Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto who was a local prince married to Tamahime which Tagata Shrine worships.741 views
055-IMG_9612.jpg
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.738 views
014-IMG_9398.jpg
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.729 views
045-IMG_9569.jpg
Sake flows freely.721 views
071-IMG_9455.jpg
Takeinadane-no-Mikoto697 views1 comments
012-IMG_9407.jpg
Entering Tagata Shrine, dedicated to Tamahime-no-Mikoto (daughter of a local feudal lord) and Mitoshi-no-Kami (deity of harvests).688 views
066-IMG_9650.jpg
Maidens who are 36 years old, carry wooden penises for protection during their "unlucky age" (yakudoshi).626 views
046-IMG_9568.jpg
People waiting for the procession along the shrine steps. (Not a good place to watch the procession.)623 views
056-IMG_9613.jpg
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.).622 views
048-IMG_9551.jpg
Men in happi coats which read "Honen Matsuri." Honen literally means "year of abundant harvest."601 views
047-IMG_9581.jpg
People waiting for the procession in front of Kumano Shrine.582 views
049-IMG_9576.jpg
The procession is ready to start from Kumano Shrine.579 views
107-IMG_9736.jpg
Now comes the giant phallus heading for the shrine's main hall.553 views
075-IMG_9666.jpg
Sarutahiko-no-Okami, the deity who led the descent of Amaterasu (Sun Goddess) from heaven to earth.526 views
052-IMG_9601.jpg
The procession goers down the slope in front of Kumano Shrine.522 views
050-IMG_9585.jpg
People waiting for the procession in front of Kumano Shrine.508 views
093-IMG_9696.jpg
Banner of shunga-style penis painting.505 views
117-IMG_0737.jpg
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.500 views
053-IMG_9599.jpg
The first mikoshi is for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto coming to visit his wife of Tamahime at Tagata Shrine, where Tamahime's residence was located.495 views
085-IMG_9683.jpg
Tagata Shrine Honen-sai Festival. Also see the video at YouTube.482 views
059-IMG_9622.jpg
Toshi-gami deity of harvests is pulled on a palanquin instead of being carried.473 views
076-IMG_9660.jpg
461 views
096-IMG_9705.jpg
Palanquin for Deity of Harvests461 views
116-IMG_0729.jpg
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.457 views
054-IMG_9604.jpg
Takeinadane-no-Mikoto456 views
110-IMG_9747.jpg
Carried by men singing kiyari laborers' songs, the smaller wooden phallus also goes to enter the shrine's main hall.442 views
112-IMG_9801.jpg
Installed inside the shrine's Honden main hall, the new giant penis will replace the old one.442 views
069-IMG_9655.jpg
437 views
058-IMG_9620.jpg
Next is a palanquin (not mikoshi) for the Toshi-gami deity of harvests. 御歳神432 views
062-IMG_9637.jpg
Where the penis goes, the crowd follows.428 views
086-IMG_9688.jpg
By this time, all the men are filled with sake and gregarious.426 views
099-IMG_9718.jpg
Giant phallus makes its way to the shrine.423 views
061-IMG_9634.jpg
411 views
108-IMG_9738.jpg
Also see the video at YouTube.406 views
091-IMG_9695.jpg
Sarutahiko-no-Okami400 views
109-IMG_9742.jpg
Penetration successful. This is 3:30 pm.400 views
065-IMG_9646.jpg
They spin around the phallus.399 views
092-IMG_9698.jpg
The standard-bearer with a banner of shunga-style penis painting.396 views
063-IMG_9639.jpg
394 views
100-IMG_9719.jpg
390 views
078-IMG_9668.jpg
Not sure what this is.386 views
068-IMG_9653.jpg
Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto385 views
074-IMG_9664.jpg
Salt sprinkler heads the procession to purify the way.382 views
070-IMG_9657.jpg
The route is short, but it's a slow procession with many short breaks. The procession lasts 1.5 hours.378 views
077-IMG_9667.jpg
Branches of the sacred sakaki tree.373 views
080-IMG_9672.jpg
Drum373 views
073-IMG_9438.jpg
Sake cart372 views
072-IMG_9658.jpg
The first half of the route is quite narrow.365 views
067-IMG_9652.jpg
359 views
084-IMG_9679.jpg
355 views
101-IMG_9720.jpg
347 views
081-IMG_9676.jpg
343 views
098-IMG_9712.jpg
The giant penis also arrives at the shrine as it spins around behind the340 views
113-IMG_9796.jpg
Tagata Shrine grounds during the Honen Festival.339 views
082-IMG_9673.jpg
Finally on the main road to Tagata Shrine. Half the road is blocked off for the procession.338 views
097-IMG_9708.jpg
335 views
114-IMG_9826.jpg
Tagata Jinja banners.335 views
083-IMG_9686.jpg
On the main road.327 views
103-IMG_9726.jpg
Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto327 views
111-IMG_9748.jpg
327 views
087-IMG_9689.jpg
Entrance to Tagata Shrine crowded with people waiting for the procession to arrive.322 views
088-IMG_9715.jpg
Tagata Shrine crowded with people waiting for the procession to arrive.322 views
102-IMG_9722.jpg
The giant phallus in front Tagata Shrine's Honden main hall.319 views
090-IMG_9694.jpg
Salt sprinkler enters first.313 views
089-IMG_9690.jpg
Tagata Shrine crowded with people waiting for the procession to arrive.306 views
105-IMG_9731.jpg
Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto enters the Honden main hall.305 views
106-IMG_9732.jpg
296 views
104-IMG_9727.jpg
293 views
120 files on 1 page(s)