Friday, April 9, 2010

MFS - Strange But True -Things / Other 17


The Hōnen Matsuri a.k.a.Japanese penis festival
The Hōnen festival at Tagata shrine is one of the most famous (or infamous?) festivals in Japan.
Amongst foreigners visiting Aichi Prefecture it is frequently referred to as the "penis shrine", or "Japanese penis festival", primarily due to the ancient Hounen Matsuri (a festival celebrating fertility and renewal), which is held every March 15th.
Tagata Jinja is believed to be about 1500 years old, due to discoveries in 1935 of an ancient sword and extensive pottery fragments. These days the shrine is surrounded by suburbia, but until recently it was surrounded by a forest called "Agata", a name believed to have derived from the name of one of the rulers of the local area during the end of the Yamato period (approx 3rd-5th century AD). These rulers were warriors who settled the area from Nara as the emerging feudal Japanese state defeated and displaced indigenous Ainu tribes and pushed its frontiers to the east. According to the official history of the shrine, the daughter of the feudal lord was called Tamahime, and was bethrothed to Takeinadane. The tradition holds that Takeinadane was killed in a distant battle and that his wife and children (and powerful father in law) developed the area. Tagata Jinja stands on the site of Tamahime's residence, and she is the principal deity (called kami in Japanese) enshrined there.Read more about this festival on MFS,with 2 videoclips.

1 comment:

  1. OMG! :P This festival of... was missing this days..::)))


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