Japan’s annual penis festival was amazing
A penis festival in Japan has once again attracted tens of thousands of visitors who took to the streets with penis lollipops, noses, signs and headwear – along with a huge ceremonial phallus.
The Kanamara festival is celebrated on the first Sunday of April in Kawasaki – a city between Tokyo and Yokohama on the largest Japanese island of Honshu – and raises money for HIV research.
First held in 1969, the celebratory march takes place at the Kanayama Shrine to pay tribute to the legend of the steel phallus.
The 17th-century tale of death and the supernatural describes a demon hiding inside the vagina of a woman he loved but could never be with.
After the creature had bitten her first two husbands’ penises off, the woman enlisted a blacksmith’s help to create a metal dildo.
After the sex toy was thrust inside the woman, her demon bit down, broke its teeth, and was vanquished.
In honour of the story, a three-foot steel phallus can now be found in the shrine’s courtyard.
Prostitutes have traditionally approached the statue with prayers against sexually transmitted infections.
And the festival which sprung from the legend, held this year on April 1, is a glorious, good-natured celebration of the penis.
Earlier this week, same-sex couples living in Fukuoka, a Japanese city of 1.5 million people, were able for the first time to have their partnerships recognised by law.
The city, on the northern coast of the island of Kyushu, was the second-biggest in the country to recognise same-sex partners.
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