16 Jaw-Dropping Pictures From Inside Japan’s Penis Festival


B.A. Van Sise

Every year on the first Sunday of April in Kawasaki, Japan, one might cross paths with a peculiar sight — a succession of enormous erect penises parading down the street under the strength of men in traditional female garb. This year, photographer B.A. Van Sise was in attendance of the annual Festival of the Steel Phallus, a regional tradition dating back to the 17th century that today serves as a platform for the benefit of HIV research. Here, Van Sise shares his experience and some of the history behind what is perhaps the most phallic festival in the world. early April in Kawasaki, Japan, is set apart for the Kanamara Matsuri, or the festival of the sword phallus, in which a hundred thousand revelers come here to celebrate one thing : the male organ. home to the Kanayama Jinja Shrine, Kawasaki, southwest of Tokyo, has been closely tied to the male anatomy for centuries, due to a dogged local caption, so its celebrated Shinto shrine to the relic of a steel penis was, well, erected .


B.A. Van Sise

Legend holds that a jealous, blushful, sharped-tooth demon obscure in the vagina of a goddess and then bit off, to their great surprise, the penises of her first two husbands. History forgets to mention why she failed to warn the second guy. ultimately a third gear, more specify suitor, a blacksmith, created an iron phallus that broke the devil ‘s tooth ; the world won over the beautiful womanhood while the demon presumably returned back to the ether to receive quite the lecture from his orthodontist.
The shrine is humble but has stood the test of time. Made of old stone and boasting a humble but pretty network of traditional orange torii gates, it was built in roughly 698 CE — but is now more famously home to the festival — in priggish and proper Japan, an unusual but charming celebration of the sacred and the profane. While beautifully frocked Shinto priests in the enshrine celebrate the thousands-year-old god, long worshiped by prostitutes fearing disease and pilgrims worried for their fertility, a unlike classify of celebration is going on external, as tens, if not hundreds of thousands of partiers take to the streets .


B.A. Van Sise


B.A. Van Sise


B.A. Van Sise

Revelers carry penis lollipops ( curious to look at, but not particularly tasty ), phallic vegetables, and enough capricious toys to stock a class ‘s deserving of Las Vegas bachelor girl parties. They enjoy them all while snapping not-quite-ready-for-Instagram selfies and watching a parade of all of Kawasaki ‘s manliest men, struggling to carry a crowd of giant junk through the street.
local families and businesses work for months to make the enormous genitals carried on the shoulders of teams of men through Kawasaki ‘s tight streets. Three, in total, are carried around town ; two are of metallic element and one, true to Japan ‘s contemporaneous anime-loving polish, is of the cheery, bubblegum-hued cartoon kind, and lofted by 18 fellows wearing glitter and antic makeup. For the priggish, it might be hard to see, but it does have its benefits : These days, sales from the festival — penis invest, sugarcoat, food, toys — rake in trap of money every class, put punctually to work toward HIV research.
This year marks a half century for the festival in its modern form. Visitors wanting to see it themselves, and secure to face the throb masses, can make it to Kawasaki from Tokyo in an easy day stumble on the first Sunday of April, any year, and see for themselves the giant phalluses of Kawasaki — and the many men who get them up .

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B.A. Van Sise


B.A. Van Sise


B.A. Van Sise


B.A. Van Sise


B.A. Van Sise


B.A. Van Sise


B.A. Van Sise


B.A. Van Sise


B.A. Van Sise


B.A. Van Sise

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