• All Share : 48642.91
    DOWN -0.96%
    Top 40 : 3793.79
    DOWN -1.66%
    Financial 15 : 14694.04
    DOWN -0.76%
    Industrial 25 : 58903.97
    DOWN -0.64%

  • ZAR/USD : 10.9621
    UP 1.10%
    ZAR/GBP : 17.5148
    UP 0.06%
    ZAR/EUR : 13.7839
    DOWN -0.18%
    ZAR/JPY : 0.1005
    DOWN -0.09%
    ZAR/AUD : 9.6235
    UP 0.24%

  • Gold : 1203.2500
    DOWN -0.76%
    Platinum : 1249.0000
    DOWN -0.30%
    Silver : 16.6846
    DOWN -2.56%
    Palladium : 786.5000
    DOWN -0.32%
    Brent Crude Oil : 86.410
    DOWN -0.81%

  • All data is delayed by 15 min. Data supplied by I-Net Bridge
    Hover cursor over this ticker to pause.

Thu Oct 30 14:18:11 SAST 2014

Japanese festival celebrates the penis

Times LIVE | 10 April, 2014 10:54

A festival in Japan, which dates back to the 1600s, celebrates the penis.

The Kawasaki’s Kanamara Matsuri (Festival of the Iron Phallus), which was held a few days ago, is an ancient tradition that serves as a celebration of and prayer for fertility, long marriages and healthy births, and a way to promote awareness about sexually transmitted diseases, most importantly HIV, according to the festival organiser’s website.

The pinnacle of the festival involves carrying an altar in the shape of a penis to the shrine, followed by a parade in which both men and women dress in women’s kimonos and carry wooden penises. Nearly everything in the festival is in the shape of a phallus, from hats to sweets.

In the 1600s, during Japan’s Edo period, local prostitutes would congregate at the Kanamara Shinto shrine in Kawasaki, where they’d pray for protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

A more fantastic tale lies in the fabled “vagina dentata,” or toothed vagina, which supposedly castrated several poor young men on their wedding nights.

The woman cursed with the toothed vagina (most likely syphilis) went to see a blacksmith, who forged her a dildo made of iron in order to break the teeth of her inner demon, thus protecting the penis of her future suitor.

The Kanamara shrine is dedicated to the blacksmith, and over the centuries sex workers have paid pilgrimage to the shrine to seek its powers of protection.

The festival includes penis hats, penis puppets, penis floats, penis costumes and penis lollipops, and even elderly Japanese alongside young couples seeking cures for impotence and infertility.

SHARE YOUR OPINION

If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.