NOTE : Although the festival will be held on April 3rd for 2016, this year will not feature the penis monument will be absent from the celebrations. Last year, the Shrine announced on their official twitter handle that a person got involved in an incident of incorrect public display. Following this the shrine has decided to make things a bit more implicit by removing the penis monument from the celebrations. The tweet is in Japanese, below
— 金山神社（俗称かなまら様）公式 (@kanayamajinjya) April 8, 2015
Original Article :I have recently downloaded an app called Meetup and got introduced to many new people in Tokyo interested in going out together to festivals, shrines and events. One is an interesting festival which is celebrated every year in Kawasaki called Kanamara Penis Festival, a celebration of life and the seed which is responsible for creation of life. Me an Indian, this festival does not blow me away as it does many foreigners who throng this festival nearly outnumbering the Japanese participants in the past few years. Part of the reason is due to the Shiv Lingam which is not that explicit as this festival, but the concept of life origination form is well known to me since childhood. The Shiv Lingam is also black in color.
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.
The festival is relatively new, initiated in 1977, but today, the festival has become something of a tourist attraction and is used to raise money for HIV research. So what makes the festival such an attraction. Anything that offers “radical” experiences will always gather crowds and the Kanamara festival offers the experience of the “phallic” variety. There are these wooden structures which women visiting the festival use as a backdrop to take some very interesting pictures and that attracts a LOOTTTTTTTTT of photographers.
The organizers guide the women participants and our meetup group friends took part in the same. The guide is helping our friend to take one candy shaped of phallus and get on top of the wooden phallus.
So thats what is the attraction one of this festival. Look below for much such snaps
Even guys get on top of the structure. The organizers were heard announcing from back side that Japan’s population is going down and they need more stronger, well whatever and the crowds were laughing their way away..
One girl gets on top of the phallus and then girls just line up to get on top of that and our Meetup Group ladies were no exception. All inhibitions gone, it turns into a great time and not that “hentai” as you may think of.
We spotted girls enjoying the candies and took some snaps of that too
She was all OK to give back us a wink and we took some more…
We were also very interested with the variety of candies and also candles available at the venue.
Girls were seen buying all sort of phallic accessories including smartphone straps! We are sure they will not be strapping them on to the devices and going around the city for sure.
The announcer was a pleasent personality who was interspersing a lot of philosophical talk like “Why are you all here today?”. The crowds were laughing and he himself replied “You are here today, because you are ALIVE!”. Yeah seriously. He was talking about the fleeting nature of life and how mindful we should be about the same. Life is like the spring cherry blossoms which are of a transient nature a week long. Savour every moment!!!
The seven gods on the back of the Phallus mikoshi which is carried across the Kawasaki City around the famous Kawasaki Daishi Shrine.
At the shrine there were also radish which were cut into the penis like structure.. Vegetable porn??…
Another interesting structure to sit on!!!
Foreign television crew from UK were also seen interviewing many people at the festival venue. The number of foreigners outnumbering the Japanese was a first experience for me.
Sakura background with the Mikoshi in the foreground. If you go to the festival go EARLY at 09:00 a.m. Just getting inside after 10:00 a.m. is a difficult task with amazing crowds.
We took a final few shots
and were on our way back home from the Kawasaki Daishi Station train. Enjoy the time you have, dont waste your life and practice mindfulness, these were the takeaways from the festival. Hope you also enjoy your time next year at Kanamara Shrine where the festival is held every FIRST SUNDAY OF APRIL