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This just in.
Yesterday, I went to witness a unique festival.
Why is it unique? …
Yes, it is what you think it is.
- The Shinto Kanamara Matsuri, “Festival of the Steel Phallus”, is held each spring at the Wakamiya Hachimangu in Kawasaki, Japan. The event falls on the first Sunday of April. The penis, as the central theme of the event, is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, and a mikoshi parade.
- The Kanamara Matsuri is centered around a local penis-venerating shrine once popular among prostitutes who wished to pray for protection from sexually transmitted diseases. It is said that there are also divine protections for business prosperity and for the clan’s property; and for easy delivery, marriage, and married couple harmony.
I usually would stay around for this kind of event to witness everything but it was so crowded for such tiny main area.
- Shrine dedicated to Emperor Nintoku, the god of reclamation, in the hope of controlling the waters of the Tama River.
Plus, it’s a parade anyways. You stick around to one spot of the parade route and you’d see the majority of the event.
Instead, I explored the grounds of Kawasaki Daishi Heikenji Temple.
- The head temple of Shigonshu-Chisan Buddhism, famous for the miraculous and protective saint that eliminiates and prevents all troubles and accidents.
I loved it here! So much tastes, sights and sounds to observe, absorb, relish and enjoy.
- Nakamise Dori is a street pack lined of stalls selling rock sweets, kuzu mochi, and daruma dolls for souvenir.
- Hakkaku Gojunto (five-storied pagoda) was completed to celebrate the 1150th anniversary of the death of Kobo Daishi in 1984. It symbolizes expansiveness and integrity.
Yes, cherry blossoms are starting to, for the lack of a better word, blossom.
- The statue of Henro Daishi was constructed as a project to commemorate the 1200th anniversary of the birth of Kobo Daishi in 1973. Many believers wishing to have strong legs come to the temple.
- Today, Kawasaki Fertility Festival is used to raise money for HIV research.