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
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The bottom of the woman figurine. Naughty, naughty...3687 views
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Procession maidens pose with wooden penises.3591 views
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Procession maidens pose with wooden penises. Tagata Shrine Honen Festival3199 views
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Wood carvings. Also see the video at YouTube.2734 views
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Sake flask2500 views
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Old wooden phallus offered at Okunomiya Hall. More photos of Tagata Shrine here.2485 views
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Lollipops2310 views
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The phallus is a symbol for themes of fertility.2196 views
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2014 views
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Nose job2003 viewsI didn't see this among the souvenirs being sold. Wonder where he got it.
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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.1895 views
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1874 views
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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.1689 views
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Senbei crackers1631 views
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1545 views
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Demure-looking woman figurine looks deceiving until you look at the bottom...1541 views
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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.1495 views
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People line up to rub the sacred balls. Penis rock in the foreground.1487 views
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Banner with ukiyoe shunga-style painting of a penis.1339 views
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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.1323 views
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Palanquin maidens.1286 views
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Gozensai ceremony before the start of the penis procession. Tagata Shrine Honen Matsuri1210 views
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Toshi-gami deity of harvests.1204 views
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Gozensai prayer ceremony before the start of the procession.1175 views
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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1119 views
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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.1113 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.
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Pregnant women also attend the festival. As well as mothers with a young baby coming to give thanks.1102 views
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1090 views
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The usual penis souvenirs on sale.991 views
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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.986 views
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Various entertainment is staged within Tagata Shrine up until the procession starts at 2 pm.969 views
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Breaking the sake barrel954 views
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Another mikoshi with a wooden penis. For a good harvest.942 views
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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941 views
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The short prayer ceremony ends.935 views
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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.932 views
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Lots of people pose with the giant penis. Amid hordes of amateur photographers926 views
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Women spectators touch the penis for good fortune and to become fertile perhaps?915 views
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Also see the video at YouTube. Honen-sai Festival, Tagata Shrine Honen Festival.875 views
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875 views
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Conch shell863 views
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Inside Kumano Shrine. Notice the wooden penises on lower left.855 views
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Sake853 views
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Festival spectators come by the busload, including people from US military bases such as Yokota.833 views
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Gozensai ceremony before the start of the procession.833 views
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Torii gate to Kumano-sha Shrine.789 views
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Ema votive tablet with giant penis portable shrine. 500 yen.783 views
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Mikoshi (portable shrine) bearers gather in front of Kumano Shrine.775 views
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Kumano-sha Shrine, the starting point of the procession or "Penis Parade." 熊野社772 views
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Sarutahiko-no-Okami, the deity who led the descent of Amaterasu (Sun Goddess) from heaven to earth.771 views
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Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto who was a local prince married to Tamahime which Tagata Shrine worships.738 views
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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.735 views
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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.727 views
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Sake flows freely.718 views
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Takeinadane-no-Mikoto693 views1 comments
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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).684 views
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Maidens who are 36 years old, carry wooden penises for protection during their "unlucky age" (yakudoshi).622 views
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People waiting for the procession along the shrine steps. (Not a good place to watch the procession.)620 views
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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.).618 views
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Men in happi coats which read "Honen Matsuri." Honen literally means "year of abundant harvest."597 views
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People waiting for the procession in front of Kumano Shrine.580 views
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The procession is ready to start from Kumano Shrine.577 views
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Now comes the giant phallus heading for the shrine's main hall.550 views
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Sarutahiko-no-Okami, the deity who led the descent of Amaterasu (Sun Goddess) from heaven to earth.524 views
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The procession goers down the slope in front of Kumano Shrine.518 views
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People waiting for the procession in front of Kumano Shrine.506 views
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Banner of shunga-style penis painting.502 views
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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.497 views
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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.492 views
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Tagata Shrine Honen-sai Festival. Also see the video at YouTube.480 views
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Toshi-gami deity of harvests is pulled on a palanquin instead of being carried.471 views
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Palanquin for Deity of Harvests458 views
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Takeinadane-no-Mikoto454 views
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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.454 views
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Carried by men singing kiyari laborers' songs, the smaller wooden phallus also goes to enter the shrine's main hall.440 views
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Installed inside the shrine's Honden main hall, the new giant penis will replace the old one.440 views
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Next is a palanquin (not mikoshi) for the Toshi-gami deity of harvests. 御歳神429 views
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Where the penis goes, the crowd follows.425 views
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By this time, all the men are filled with sake and gregarious.423 views
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Giant phallus makes its way to the shrine.421 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.403 views
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Penetration successful. This is 3:30 pm.398 views
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They spin around the phallus.397 views
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Sarutahiko-no-Okami397 views
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The standard-bearer with a banner of shunga-style penis painting.394 views
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Not sure what this is.384 views
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Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto383 views
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Salt sprinkler heads the procession to purify the way.379 views
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The route is short, but it's a slow procession with many short breaks. The procession lasts 1.5 hours.376 views
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Drum371 views
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Branches of the sacred sakaki tree.370 views
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Sake cart369 views
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The first half of the route is quite narrow.363 views
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The giant penis also arrives at the shrine as it spins around behind the338 views
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Tagata Shrine grounds during the Honen Festival.336 views
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Finally on the main road to Tagata Shrine. Half the road is blocked off for the procession.335 views
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Tagata Jinja banners.333 views
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On the main road.325 views
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Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto325 views
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Entrance to Tagata Shrine crowded with people waiting for the procession to arrive.320 views
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Tagata Shrine crowded with people waiting for the procession to arrive.320 views
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The giant phallus in front Tagata Shrine's Honden main hall.317 views
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Salt sprinkler enters first.311 views
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Tagata Shrine crowded with people waiting for the procession to arrive.303 views
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Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto enters the Honden main hall.303 views
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