From penis shaped idols, carved fruit and lollipops Kanamara Matsuri in Japan celebrates the virility of penises quite unabashedly!
If you don’t mind putting up with a bunch of dicks, the Kanamara Penis Festival in Kawasaki, Japan promises to be a day of naughty fun. The ‘Festival of the Steel Phallus’ is an annual Shinto fertility festival where the penis forms the central theme of the event. Probably not an ideal destination for a day out with your grandmother, this festival is nonetheless a worthy pit-stop if only to witness the jaw-dropping penis floats, rather convincing drag queens, and the penis-shaped lollipops being devoured by the young and the old.
The origin story
‘Kanamara Matsuri’ literally translates to the Festival of the Iron Phallus, a supremely macho, fitting yet strange title for a supposedly family-friendly festival. The festival’s origins come from the ancient Japanese tradition of worshipping happy marriages and fertility, and most recently a way to teach people about STIs and STDs.
As the legend has it, back in the Edo peiod in Japan where a woman cursed with a vagina demon or a toothed vagina was castrating unaware and helpless men in the town of Kawasaki. To cure herself of this demon, the woman visited a blacksmith who forged an iron phallus or dildo to destroy the vagina dentata, so that she could have sex with men with out harming them. So once this happened, a shrine was built where the blacksmith’s shop was where for thousands of years people have paid homage to, while also seeking virility and protection from STDs and such.
Kanamara Matsuri is a penis festival after all, so expect to see millennials descend upon Kawasaki for a some unusual but strangely pleasant ‘penis’ related fun. The fair is visited by teenagers, families with kids and tourists who take part in the festivities quite willingly. Apart from penis costumes, penis puppet shows, penis floats you can find any quirky artifact to do with sex or sexual organs at Kanamara Matsuri. There is no room for modesty at this spring time celebration of self expression, mythology and deeply ingrained culture.