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Showing posts from April, 2013

Japanese Penis Festival - Kanamara Matsuri

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The Kanamara Matsuri of Kawasaki, Japan is a cocky little festival where the floats would make a sailor blush. It's a balls-to-the-wall festival where zaniness reigns supreme with giant penis floats, unconvincing drag queens, people sucking on penis lollipops, and dick-themed hats and costumes.
The origins of the festival go back to the Edo Period (1603-1867). Supposedly there lived a girl who had a demon take up residence in a certain part of female anatomy. When she was married her husband found out about her hidden inhabitant to his horror. In the process of consummating the marriage, the husband was castrated when the devil bit off the poor fellow's member. A second husband also suffered the same fate (presumably no one told him about the first husband).
A local blacksmith forged an iron phallus and when this was put in the proper (or improper) place, the devil broke its teeth on it and thus fled. The devil-quelling device was enshrined and in later times ladies of the eveni…

Outdoor Sumo at Yasukuni Shrine 2013

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In April, sumo gets back to its roots at Yasukuni Shrine with an outdoor event. In olden times, sumo was generally held outdoors at shrines and temples or before gathered assemblies of august groups such as the shogun, daimyo (feudal lord), even the Emperor.
Hono Ozumo is a special ceremonial sumo event held at a shrine such as Yasukuni Shrine. Lower rank wrestlers (maku-shita) and top rank wrestlers (maku-uchi) compete. Even the yokozuna the highest rank in sumo compete at Hono Ozumo. If there is more than one yokozuna, they will compete against each other. Sumo can have several yokozuna at the same time but it is relatively rare to have more than two. Usually to see a yokozuna match between two yokozuna is a rare treat. Only on the last day of a tournament can one see this and it's very difficult to get tickets for that day. 
This year was a chance to see such a yokozuna match, the first in four years as Yokozuna Asashoryu retired in February of 2010. Hakuho has been the only yoko…