Last Naked Man Festival after 1000 year history


somin-sai naked man festival

Participants have girded their loins in a fundoshi for the last time as Japan’s Somin-sai or naked man festival comes to an end after a 1,000 year history.

The Somin-sai festival is one of three Hadaka Matsuri or nakled man festivals held in Japan annually. Despite freezing winter temperatures, thousands of men stripped every year and washed in the frigid waters of the Yamauchigawa River in preparation for the ceremony.

They then dressed in a white loincloth known as a fundoshi and wrestled one another for lucky talismans. (Those interested in how to properly secure a fundoshi as an undergarment will benefit from a Google search, perhaps incorporating the word ‘porn’.😉)

Traditionally a celebration of good harvests, prosperity, good health and fertility, in recent years, the naked men festivals also attracted tourists. Japanese media reported that an estimated 3,000 visitors attended this year’s final event.

Festival organisers blamed the failure of the event on Japan’s aging population. They said they struggled to find young participants willing to strip naked and wade into the freezing waters.

However, the other two annual Hadaka Matsuri Naked Man festivals will go ahead.

The Owari Ōkunitama Shrine festival occurs annually on May 6. But it’s too late for the Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri festival this year. It happened just a week ago, with 9,000 men participating. There’s always next year.

Also in 2024, don’t forget the Festival of the Steel Phallus featuring dicks of every shape, size, colour, texture and taste – the first Sunday of April.

Japan festivals: naked done, penis coming soon.

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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