Hounen Matsuri et cetera
February 22, 2003 5:56 AM   Subscribe

Hounen Matsuri is Japanese and means Festival for a prosperous year.
There are many festivals in Japan. But this one is quite different. Not many Japanese know about this Matsuri, and they are very surprized [QuickTime video] when they hear about it for the first time. Well, what is it?
posted by hama7 (11 comments total)
Warning: contains giant horse radish.
posted by wobh at 11:00 AM on February 22, 2003

Another great post, hama7. Thanks!
posted by homunculus at 11:04 AM on February 22, 2003

There are actually two festivals here. One is in Shizuoka, southeast of Nagoya, and the other (the last three links) is in the Tokyo area.
posted by hama7 at 4:57 PM on February 22, 2003

Giant horse radish?
Wasabi or Arby's Horsey Sauce?
posted by wendell at 6:18 PM on February 22, 2003

I just sent email to my brother's GF (who is Japanese) informing her that I have made my decision about when I want to visit Japan. I want to see the Penis Festival!
posted by SweetIceT at 6:39 PM on February 22, 2003

I'm appalled no one asked whether this festival vibrates or not!
Surreal pics, btw. Is there a festival for, you know, the female equivalent?
posted by 111 at 7:08 PM on February 22, 2003

Living in Northern Japan, we too had a Hounen Matsuri featuring everyone's favorite body part. A particular hill by the train station was used as a racetrack. Teams of 8 men would race up the hill carrying a platform with a large penis on it. Half way up, the team would stop, put down the platform, take up a set of rings, and try to toss one onto the erect wooden penis off to the side. Once complete, the team picked up the platform and ran to the finish line...uphill.

I had the distinct honor of participating 2 years in a row. Everyone laughs at it, everyone is slightly embarrassed by it, and yet EVERYONE turns out in droves to participate and enjoy it. Usually very very drunk.

Anyway, it's a good time and one of the better festivals in Iwate-ken.
posted by Dantien at 11:49 AM on February 23, 2003

At Takagata Shrine there is a female equivalent, but it doesn't involve carrying around giant vaginas. It is a parade of girls dressed as brides. Unfortunately it's not as exciting as the "penis festival."

Another great festival in the Nagoya area is the "Naked Festival" (Hadaka Matsuri). Hundreds of half-naked, drunk men stand in a small area outside of a shrine after walking from their village carrying a donation of bamboo. The idea is the touch a completely naked man called "the man of God."
posted by Alison at 2:42 PM on February 23, 2003

Loved both these links. This (and the Bunraku FPP) inspired me to look at your list of posted links, hama7, and, I've got to say, you are now my Metafilter idol. :D
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:44 AM on February 24, 2003

Gosh, thanks! Pleased that you noticed, J.M. You're too kind!
posted by hama7 at 10:19 PM on February 24, 2003

You have a mighty collection of great posts yourself, by the way.
posted by hama7 at 10:31 PM on February 24, 2003

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