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Wednesday, April 4

Joining the Ladies of the Night for a Randy Good Time

Spring in Japan has been absolutely beautiful. Every day I discover a new blooming tree to marvel over. What better way to celebrate all of this beauty than to head to a festival that takes place every spring, this year on April Fools Day… Kanamara Matsuri. Doesn’t that just sound pretty? Perhaps I should tell you the translation before you get too caught up in all this loveliness… Festival of the Steel Phallus. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s a festival that is all about the penis. Ok, not entirely but first glance at the festival would forcefully indicate this concept to you. Entering the temple area, even the fabric signs lining the sidewalk and flapping in the wind underneath the fluffy, pink cherry trees have lovely, little penises on them.

Perhaps a little background to start… the festival has its origins in the Edo period of Japanese history when the town of Kawasaki would see its ladies of the night come out and pray for success in their *ahem* business and, of course, one small request by each for protection from syphilis. When the cherry blossoms would begin blooming, the ladies would parade the shrine’s phallic symbol through town and return to the shrine for a merry good time. Sounds like one interesting party to me.

As the years passed, the traditions have slightly modernized. The big pink penis is still paraded through town. There are still foods and drinks to overindulge yourself with. But now the celebration and prayers are geared towards protection from AIDS since it is a bit more difficult to catch syphilis these days. The ladies of the night from the past have turned into the Japanese transvestites of today. And the food which used to be bamboo shoots and spring delicacies has turned to penis and pussy-shaped lollipops as well as bananas, large Japanese root vegetables and hotdogs carved in phallic shapes. There is Viagra for purchasing just in case you meet someone nice at the party. And today you can even buy yourself a nice little, carved wooden penis to take home and put on your mantle to keep away your AIDS risk.

Just about everyone and anyone is welcome. All ages (although I won’t be taking any child of mine in the future), all nationalities, all sexes and sexual preferences. Mostly we all stood around in unspoken camaraderie while we drank are beers and sucked our pops into new and curious phallic formations. As the parade began, we stood crushed side-by-side to one another leaving only a narrow pathway for a much too large temple to be carried out through the crowd. They just shoved us tighter together. Although I feared the entire crowd collapsing from the pressure, causing hundreds of cases of asphyxiation to the masses with pops still stuck in their mouths, we all made it through safe and alive. Although the couple that carried the baby through… I would totally rethink the infant next year. Oh, and the couple that gave their boy child a pussy pop… thanks for not grabbing my camera as I snapped away.

If you are gasping over all of this, so was I. While I would love to show you all of the pictures I took that day, I am limiting them to protect those that shared this joyous day with me. (Wouldn’t that be one way to lose your brand spanking new friends… post pictures of them on top of a large wooden penis with their tongues hanging out and penis lollipops stuck to the end all over the internet?) However, if you are really curious at just how out of control I and the friends that I make can sometimes be, email me and I will send them directly to you.
Joking aside, the day is meant for those that would like to pray for many things – success in business, healthy progeny, a fertile marriage, wedded bliss or just plain old good health. I personally wish you all of these!


Anonymous said...

Holy s***


Anonymous said...

oh my god! you have turned into a freak. ha ha! send me the pics please :)


Mike S said...

I see another tradition continues to "evolve". It sounds as if it's more fun than ever.

Char Chris said...

wow.. never expected something like this.