One again, tourists and enthusiasts flock to the streets of Kawasaki to honor the timeless tradition of the Kanamara Matsuri, or the Penis Festival.
— ☆ Pink Japan (ステラ) ☆ (@pink_japan_blog) April 3, 2016
A bright pink phallus, affectionately dubbed “Elizabeth”, is housed on a palanquin and borne on the shoulders of its trans women devotees. Elizabeth has become an important symbol for the LGBT community in Kawasaki, as it was once donated by a well-respected drag queen.
Shinto Kanamara Matsuri "Festival of the steel phallus" happens the First Sunday of April every year in Japan ?? pic.twitter.com/zRnLJkyYgQ
— Duma Ngwenya (@Dxma_) April 3, 2016
The shrine that houses both Elizabeth and a black steel phallus was once sacred to sex workers of the Edo period. Prayers were sent up to the heavens to spare them from venereal diseases. Now, the shrine and the Penis Festival is sacred not just to the LGBT community, but also to businesss owners and married couples in search of prosperity, fertility, and harmonious relationships.
Everywhere one might look will always have either something phallic or yonic to gawk at. Sweets, treats, and souvenirs are either shaped or carved into perky peters and sold at exorbitant prices. It’s given grannies and shopkeeps alike a fun opportunity to let their naughtier sides come out and play, and to just have fun. (For example, don’t be too surprised if you find sweet old ladies sucking on penis lollipops out in the open — or even offering you one.) Despite the the festival becoming more commercial in its atmosphere, it’s encouraged a more positive enticement and energy in tourists and locals alike. Besides, many of the proceeeds from the sweets and treats go to a fund in support of research on HIV, so you know it’s a lot of fun for a good cause.
The lady with her penis shape white radish. She made it and put it in auction at the end of the day. Many people comes here to pray for their fertility and in this festival you can meet so many curious foreigners who want to see this festival, including me ? #advinadventura #advintura #langkahanakbangsa #kanamaramatsuri #kanamaramatsuri2016 #kanayamashrine #lostintranslation #lostinjapan
There are two versions on the origins of this festival, but the more popular one takes its roots from a folk tale. The fable starts when a demon hides inside a woman’s vagina and castrates her two lovers with his razor-sharp-teeth on their wedding night. It was only when the woman sought a monk’s metalurgy skills that a steel penis he had forged would break the demon’s teeth and end the curse.
And now, let these ladies from the anime show Maji de Watashi show you how to eat a lollipop at the Kanamari Matsuri: