Friday, November 10, 2017

Hounen Matsuri; Tagata Shrine Penis Festival


Held every year on March 15th, from 11a-4p. At Tagata Shrine near Tagata Jinja Mae station, north of Nagoya.
This festival is a celebration of fertility that marks the arrival of spring.
Giant wooden phallic figures are parades through the street.
The event attracts large numbers of people and is especially popular among tourists who are attracted to the bawdy novelty.
Vendors sell genital themed goods.
There is actually another penis festival (Kanamara Matsuri, the festival of the iron phallus) in Kawasaki that is more famous, receiving more international publicity.
Worshipers along the parade route rub the penises carried by the shrine maidens for good luck.

A sign showing the parade route which starts at nearby Shinmei-sha shrine and leads to Tagata Shrine.
The sign also shows a schedule of that days events.
Vendors near the station selling hand carved genitals.
The people running this shop were quite old.
It is not young, rude and irreverent people running these shops but this is still seen as something eccentric by Japanese people.
A candy vendor selling all sort of genital themed candies.
Phallic "lucky treasure" suckers in green and pink plus a matched male/female set.
All sorts of odd people vie for attention at the festival (with varying levels of sobriety and sanity).
Here a mother and father are doing a pretty good job of embarrassing their less enthsusiastic son (who they also had dressed up).
A mannequin of a goddess is carried in the parade.
The portable shrine penis enters the shrine grounds and a brief ceremony is observed before the penis enters the shrine.
Tagata Shrine Harvest Festival

Lucky talisman for sell in the shrine office.

A tree branch covered in paper charms passes under the main torii gate to Tagata shrine as a news helicopter hovers overhead to record the huge crowds.
Very detailed penis banners are carried in the parade.
A mikoshi with a huge cedar penis.
The phallus is 2.5 meters long, 50-60cm in diameter and weighs 300kg.
The giant penis comes to rest inside the shrine.
Chocolate covered bananas are standard festival fare but at this festival the bananas are shaped to the form of a penis.
The mother in this picture seemed to be in a hurry to get something for her daughter to eat.
This expression on this girls face is some sort of comical bemusement.
The shrine bell is shaped like a penis.
This secondary shrine building is filled with phallic carvings.
The tengu wearing elevated sandals.
Shrine maiden carrying a wooden penis.
Note all of the happy families who line the parade route with video cameras.
A fountain surrounded with penis shaped stones.
Odd characters seem to flock to this event.
These masked tengu characters are a feature of many shrine parades.
The phallic nose of the tengu is a perfect fit for the theme of this festival.
Businessmen who are supporters of the festival prepare to throw lucky rice cakes to an excited crowd.

A foreign visitor with charms bought at the shrine.
Enma plaques usually have a unique shrine design painted on them, this shrine has wooden phallus on the enma.