Kanamara Matsuri

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Coordinates: 35°32′04.35″N 139°43′28.67″E / 35.5345417°N 139.7246306°E / 35.5345417; 139.7246306

Kanamara Matsuri
Kanamara Matsuri 2007 (phallus festival)-crop.jpg
Observed byKanayama shrine, Kawasaki, Japan
DateFirst Sunday in April
2019 dateApril 7  (2019-04-07)
2020 dateApril 5  (2020-04-05)
2021 dateApril 4  (2021-04-04)
2022 dateApril 3  (2022-04-03)

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 phallus, as the central theme of the event, is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade.[1][2][3][4][5]

The Kanamara Matsuri is centered on a local penis-venerating shrine. The legend being that a jealous sharp-toothed demon hid inside the vagina of a young woman the demon fell in love with and bit off penises of two young men on their wedding nights.[6] After that the 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.[7] This legend in Ainu language was published as "The Island of Women" by Basil Hall Chamberlain[8]

The Kanayama Shrine was popular among prostitutes who wished to pray for protection from sexually transmitted infections.[9]

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.[citation needed]

The festival started in 1969.[10] Today, the festival has become something of a tourist attraction and is used to raise money for HIV research.[11]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dammit, we missed The Festival of the Steel Phallus in Japan this weekend - Cosmopolitan". cosmopolitan.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  2. ^ Dominique Mosbergen. "Japan's Annual Penis Festival Is As Phallic As You'd Expect (PHOTOS)". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  3. ^ Times LIVE. "Japanese festival celebrates the penis - Times LIVE". timeslive.co.za. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  4. ^ "The World Today Archive - Japan's Festival of the Steel Phallus". abc.net.au. 2001-04-02. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  5. ^ "BBC - Travel - Slideshow - Ten events not to miss in April". Archived from the original on 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  6. ^ "Kanamara Matsuri 2014: What You Should Know About Japan's Penis Festival (NSFW PHOTOS)". huffingtonpost.ca. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  7. ^ "Metropolis - Japan Travel: Kawasaki - Heads up". Archived from the original on 2010-04-06. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  8. ^ Chamberlain, B. H. "The Island of Women" Aino Folk-Tales, 1888. pp. vii, 37.
  9. ^ "Kanamara Matsuri: When Does Japan's Penis Festival Start? (NSFW PHOTOS)". huffingtonpost.ca. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ "Kanamara-Matsuri | World's weirdest festivals". Herald Sun.[dead link]

External links[edit]