03 May 2006

PENIS!!


Now that I have your attention, I will be talking about penises, or more specifically the "Kawasaki Penis Festival"

Accurately known as the “Kawasaki Daishi Kanamara Festival of the Steel Phallus” is held every year, in the middle of cherry blossom season at a small Shintō shrine just south of Tokyo. It’s quite something —check out photos. The Japanese, while cultivating an image of being demure and refined, certainly don’t go to any half-measures here —“Hey kids, lets pick up Grandma and go down to the Penis Festival to watch some transvestites carry around a huge three-meter wang through the streets!”

Legend has it that long ago, a evil daemon possessed a young woman’s vagina, and set her about town, thusly biting off the sensitive bits of her lovers. (Most unladylike of her if you ask me). The Kawasaki’s menfolk felt a bit irked with this rather unsatisfactory situation, so a blacksmith forged an iron phallus which was then used to break the dæmon’s teeth. The dæmon was vanquished, happiness returned, and the phallus came to be venerated at the local shrine.

The festival itself dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1867). At that time, Kawasaki's "ladies of the night" prayed not only for good business, but also for protection from syphilis (generally a good idea). Come cherry blossom time, they’d gather baskets of bamboo shoots and other sprouting delicacies, carry the shrine's phallic image in procession through the streets, and then sit down to a merry banquet on mats spread out on the courtyard of the shrine.

Today, the highlights of this saucy festival include transvestites in kimonos and bad wigs parading through the town's streets carrying a mikoshi (portable shrine) with a humungous shocking-pink phallus on top, as well as the spectacle of grandmas and little kids sucking on penis-shaped candy. Other attractions include locals carving penises out of daikon radishes, and people sitting astride penis-shaped seesaws for good luck and fertility blessings.


In a word, basically, it was nuts.

9 comments:

Jennifer said...

I almost cried I laughed so hard when I saw Ash's pictures from this festival.
Those Japanese are a wacky wacky bunch.

This reminds me, for some reason there's a penis straw in the glove box of my mom's car. I find it every time I'm looking for the manual - so always in bad situations, like needing fog lamps, it always adds some levity to any situation.

tokyo tintin said...

i didn't know she went to the penis festival. i thought she came in the summertime.

Princess Pessimism said...

I ALMOST DIED when Ash showed her pictures from this festival. I Especially like the pictures of the penis suckers, that all those little kids were eating. LOL!! EWW

Ash went in May I believe...

Miss Ash said...

No no, you've got it all wrong. Those were not my photos but Jays photos. I went April to May and missed out on the festival. His pictures made me laugh so hard he gave me copies.

Jennifer said...

Well that solves that mystery!
And I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids!

Jennifer said...

Hey, I just looked at your profile. I can't remember which of Thor H's books I've read, I know I read the Ra Expedition, but I can't remember about the others.

tokyo tintin said...

all of thor's books are great (though i haven't read the ra expedition yet). his most famous book is of course kon tiki where he presents an actually plausible theory for the origins of the giant moa stone heads on easter island, as opposed to the conventional wisdom, which makes no sense at all. --how on earth would a group of people who travelled to an incredibly remote island at the furthest boundry of the polynesian cultural sphere suddenly develop a highly advanced technology possesed nowhere else in polynesia? it would be like saying reindeer herders in lapland built the notre-dame cathdral in paris.

it makes me *so* mad everytime national geographic rebutts a letter to the editor someone has written about thor's logical ideas. NG always takes the opportunity to try to discredit him and basically call him a loony-toony. bloody neo-geo bastards!

Jennifer said...

OK, I'm going to the bookstore tomorrow and buying Kontiki.

tokyo tintin said...

so jenni,

have you started kon tiki yet, or what?