The Festival of Naked Men in Japan (Hadaka Matsuri)


Every year in February, thousands of Japanese men go out into the street to celebrate the Festival of Naked Men (Hadaka Matsuri). According to the Japanese by taking part in the festival, the whole year will be full of success. The festival has been celebrated since 767 in different towns, but it is gorgeously celebrated in the Town of Inajava, where the number of participants reaches 3000. They are dressed only in loincloths (called fundoshi) and wooden sandals. In the ceremony, there participate only men at the age of 23-43, who nakedly go out into the street in the evening. According to the Shinto tradition, in order the whole year to be successful it is necessary to touch the Naked Man (Shin-otoko), who goes towards Konomiya Shrine.
To be chosen for the role of the Naked Man is a great honor for a Japanese man. On the festival eve, the selected person shaves all the hair on his body and makes his way through the crowd towards the shrine. The goal of the participants of the festival is to tip, touch the selected person at any cost, which is not an easy thing to do. It is necessary to pass through the solid mass and reach him. That is why on the next day the selected person can find many scratches and bruises on his body. If a pregnant woman touches the Naked Man, then his baby will be born healthy. If the Japanese spread the soil brought from the fields in Konomiya Shrine, the whole year will be plenteous.
In the shrine takes place the purification ritual of the naked men, after which all they go out into the street to continue the festival. In order not to catch cold in cold weather, they drink sake and thus raise their holiday mood.

Hadaka Matsuri 1

Hadaka Matsuri 2

the material is taken from

translated from Armenian into English by M.Vardanyan