A crowd gathers at Kanamara Matsuri festival.
|Observed by||Kanayama shrine, Kawasaki, Japan|
|Date||First Sunday in April|
|2014 date||April 6|
|2015 date||April 5|
|2016 date||April 3|
|2017 date||April 2|
The Shinto Kanamara Matsuri (かなまら祭り?, "Festival of the Steel Phallus") is held each spring at the Kanayama Shrine (金山神社 Kanayama-jinja?) in Kawasaki, Japan. The exact dates vary: the main festivities fall on the first Sunday in April. The penis, as the central theme of the event, is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade.
The Kanamara Matsuri is centred on a local penis-venerating shrine. The legend being that a sharp-toothed demon (vagina dentata) hid inside the vagina of a young woman and castrated two young men on their wedding nights. As a result, the young woman sought help from a blacksmith, who fashioned an iron phallus to break the demon's teeth, which led to the enshrinement of the item. This legend in Ainu language was published as "The Island of Women" by Basil Hall Chamberlain
It is also said the shrine offers divine protections for business prosperity, and for the clan's prosperity; and for easy delivery, marriage, and married-couple harmony.
The festival started in 1977. It used to be a small festival, but it has become bigger and bigger. Today, the festival has become something of a tourist attraction and is used to raise money for HIV research.
- Hōnen Matsuri (Harvest Festival), whose main features include a 2.5 meter-long wooden phallus
- Phallic processions
- Vagina Dentata (toothed vagina)
- Tyrnavos, a city in Greece that holds an annual Phallus festival
- Ōkunitama Shrine (friendship shrine)
- "Dammit, we missed The Festival of the Steel Phallus in Japan this weekend - Cosmopolitan". cosmopolitan.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
- Dominique Mosbergen. "Japan's Annual Penis Festival Is As Phallic As You'd Expect (PHOTOS)". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
- Times LIVE. "Japanese festival celebrates the penis - Times LIVE". timeslive.co.za. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
- "The World Today Archive - Japan's Festival of the Steel Phallus". abc.net.au. 2001-04-02. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
- "BBC - Travel - Slideshow - Ten events not to miss in April". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
- "Kanamara Matsuri 2014: What You Should Know About Japan's Penis Festival (NSFW PHOTOS)". huffingtonpost.ca. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
- "Metropolis - Japan Travel: Kawasaki - Heads up". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
- Chamberlain, B. H. "The Island of Women" Aino Folk-Tales, 1888. pp. vii, 37.
- "Kanamara Matsuri: When Does Japan's Penis Festival Start? (NSFW PHOTOS)". huffingtonpost.ca. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
- 世界も驚くニッポン旅行100: テーマでめぐる!47都道府県ローカル旅PHP研究所, Jul 4, 2013
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kanamara Festival.|
- A day at the Kanamara Matsuri in Yamasaki
- The shrine's festival webpage (Japanese)
- A report of the event (illustrated)
- Another report (unillustrated)
- A picture of the object of veneration
- Kanamara Matsuri Video
- Explanation of the history of the festival with a detailed schedule of the festivities.
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