JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.


Most viewed - Komaki 小牧市
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The bottom of the woman figurine. Naughty, naughty...3708 views
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Procession maidens pose with wooden penises.3613 views
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Procession maidens pose with wooden penises. Tagata Shrine Honen Festival3232 views
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Wood carvings. Also see the video at YouTube.2749 views
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Sake flask2516 views
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Old wooden phallus offered at Okunomiya Hall. More photos of Tagata Shrine here.2503 views
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Lollipops2324 views
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The phallus is a symbol for themes of fertility.2208 views
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2029 views
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Nose job2024 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.1913 views
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1890 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.1709 views
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Senbei crackers1643 views
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1560 views
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Demure-looking woman figurine looks deceiving until you look at the bottom...1557 views
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1534 views
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People line up to rub the sacred balls. Penis rock in the foreground.1512 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.1509 views
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Banner with ukiyoe shunga-style painting of a penis.1358 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.1337 views
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Palanquin maidens.1303 views
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Gozensai ceremony before the start of the penis procession. Tagata Shrine Honen Matsuri1229 views
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Toshi-gami deity of harvests.1216 views
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Gozensai prayer ceremony before the start of the procession.1189 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1136 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.1128 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.1113 views
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1105 views
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The usual penis souvenirs on sale.1003 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.996 views
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Various entertainment is staged within Tagata Shrine up until the procession starts at 2 pm.982 views
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Breaking the sake barrel967 views
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Another mikoshi with a wooden penis. For a good harvest.955 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952 views
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The short prayer ceremony ends.946 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.943 views
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Lots of people pose with the giant penis. Amid hordes of amateur photographers938 views
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Women spectators touch the penis for good fortune and to become fertile perhaps?923 views
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Also see the video at YouTube. Honen-sai Festival, Tagata Shrine Honen Festival.891 views
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886 views
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Conch shell876 views
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Inside Kumano Shrine. Notice the wooden penises on lower left.867 views
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Sake864 views
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Festival spectators come by the busload, including people from US military bases such as Yokota.845 views
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Gozensai ceremony before the start of the procession.845 views
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Torii gate to Kumano-sha Shrine.802 views
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Ema votive tablet with giant penis portable shrine. 500 yen.793 views
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Mikoshi (portable shrine) bearers gather in front of Kumano Shrine.786 views
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Kumano-sha Shrine, the starting point of the procession or "Penis Parade." 熊野社783 views
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Sarutahiko-no-Okami, the deity who led the descent of Amaterasu (Sun Goddess) from heaven to earth.783 views
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Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto who was a local prince married to Tamahime which Tagata Shrine worships.749 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.745 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.737 views
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Sake flows freely.727 views
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Takeinadane-no-Mikoto705 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).695 views
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Maidens who are 36 years old, carry wooden penises for protection during their "unlucky age" (yakudoshi).634 views
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People waiting for the procession along the shrine steps. (Not a good place to watch the procession.)632 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.).630 views
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Men in happi coats which read "Honen Matsuri." Honen literally means "year of abundant harvest."607 views
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People waiting for the procession in front of Kumano Shrine.587 views
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The procession is ready to start from Kumano Shrine.586 views
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This is what you see inside Oku-no-miya Shrine. A giant wooden phallus offering.571 views
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Now comes the giant phallus heading for the shrine's main hall.560 views
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Sarutahiko-no-Okami, the deity who led the descent of Amaterasu (Sun Goddess) from heaven to earth.534 views
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The procession goers down the slope in front of Kumano Shrine.528 views
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People waiting for the procession in front of Kumano Shrine.514 views
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Banner of shunga-style penis painting.511 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.507 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.501 views
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Tagata Shrine Honen-sai Festival. Also see the video at YouTube.488 views
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Toshi-gami deity of harvests is pulled on a palanquin instead of being carried.480 views
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Palanquin for Deity of Harvests467 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.464 views
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Takeinadane-no-Mikoto462 views
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Installed inside the shrine's Honden main hall, the new giant penis will replace the old one.452 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.449 views
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Apparently it can become erect too. (Compare with previous photo.)447 views
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Next is a palanquin (not mikoshi) for the Toshi-gami deity of harvests. 御歳神438 views
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Where the penis goes, the crowd follows.434 views
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By this time, all the men are filled with sake and gregarious.432 views
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Giant phallus makes its way to the shrine.431 views
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416 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.411 views
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Penetration successful. This is 3:30 pm.408 views
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Sarutahiko-no-Okami406 views
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They spin around the phallus.404 views
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The standard-bearer with a banner of shunga-style penis painting.401 views
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Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto391 views
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Not sure what this is.391 views
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Salt sprinkler heads the procession to purify the way.387 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.384 views
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Sake cart379 views
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Branches of the sacred sakaki tree.379 views
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Drum379 views
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The first half of the route is quite narrow.372 views
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Votice tablets written with people's wishes for love, sex, and babies.348 views
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The giant penis also arrives at the shrine as it spins around behind the347 views
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Tagata Shrine grounds during the Honen Festival.346 views
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Finally on the main road to Tagata Shrine. Half the road is blocked off for the procession.343 views
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Tagata Jinja banners.342 views
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On the main road.333 views
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Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto333 views
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Entrance to Tagata Shrine crowded with people waiting for the procession to arrive.328 views
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Tagata Shrine crowded with people waiting for the procession to arrive.327 views
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The giant phallus in front Tagata Shrine's Honden main hall.324 views
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Salt sprinkler enters first.318 views
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Tagata Shrine crowded with people waiting for the procession to arrive.312 views
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Portable shrine for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto enters the Honden main hall.311 views
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Oku-no-miya Shrine also has many other phallic objects presented as offerings. There even one which you can touch...297 views
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Best-looking phallic rock.297 views
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Phallic fence posts.280 views
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Phallic souvenirs.254 views
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Tagata Shrine Honden main hall. Komaki, Aichi Pref.253 views
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Tagata Jinja-mae Station on Meitetsu Railways' Komaki Line, a few stops from Inuyama Station. The shrine is a 10 min. walk from the train station.240 views
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Phallic objects238 views
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Note that the phallus is not the object of worship. It is an offering to the god.236 views
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Worst-looking phallic rock. That's stretching the imagination a little too much.236 views
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Female and male rocks.226 views
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Stones and Oku-no-miya Shrine217 views
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Put in money and it will make a "chin" sound. (From the word "chinpo" for penis.)214 views
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Oku-no-miya Shrine. Look carefully and you can see what's inside. 奥宮203 views
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Phallic rock. There are several phallic rocks donated by various people. Apparently they are either natural or carved.203 views
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Place to rub the sacred balls. 珍宝窟196 views
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Votice tablet with illustration of the Honen Festival.196 views
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194 views
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Rub the two balls.187 views
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Tagata Shrine banners. Also see Honen Festival photos here.187 views
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Tagata Shrine torii and entrance 田縣神社173 views
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Tagata Shrine Honden main hall which worships shrine worships a deity called Tamahime-no-Mikoto who was a daughter of a powerful local lord from the 5th century.168 views
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Another pair of trees bonded together.154 views
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Torii to Oku-no-miya Shrine, next to the Honden main hall.149 views
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And another...149 views
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Behind the rocks are two trees bonded together.146 views
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Mikuji paper fortunes for love and romance, marriage, and childbirth.135 views
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Tagata Shrine stone marker131 views
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