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Another year, another naked man festival

Written on: Sunday April 20th, 2008

A journal entry from: Japan

Those of you who?ve been reading my blog for a while might recall a particularly memorable entry (at least in my opinion) from March of last year, wherein I took part in a rather strange cultural ritual, namely, the naked man festival. Here?s the link in case you?d like to check out that entry. http://www.footstops.com/kendler/blog/690/

It was so good the first time around, that I wasn?t about to miss it this year.

 

The circumstances were a bit different this year. For some reason that I can?t quite grasp, in spite of my best efforts and retelling of grand tales from last year, it was nearly impossible to convince anyone to participate in the festival along with me. One friend was keen, but in the end had to back out due to work commitments. Spectators, on the other hand, weren?t as hard to convince. My lady friend and her friend came along, as did 3 of the teachers from my Japanese school.

 

The festivities this year where much the same as last, although a lot colder (the event was 2 weeks earlier than last time). Also, as I had overindulged in the sake last year, I decided to take it easy this time, which left me with much more vivid memories, albeit mostly of how bloody cold it was.

 

I managed to join up with a large group, sporting headbands of various colours. Once we?d finished our march to the shrine, I was swarmed by spectators, all wanting me to tear their special ribbons for good luck. I met one other foreigner in the crowd, and we were subsequently interview together by an English speaking reporter. I was also interviewed in Japanese?a much simpler interview that was. Sadly, no one ever saw me on TV.

 

I had to wait around for a long time before the climax, when the naked man comes out and we all try to grab him for good luck. And when he finally got around to where I was, the melee didn?t last very long because I think he got hurt and had to escape to an ambulance. For a second year in a row, I failed to touch him, or even get close. But that?s ok, after all, there?s always next year.

 

From Anitra on Nov 21st, 2011

Heckuva good job. I sure apperciate it.