字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント The first time I came to Japan, Jun told me about a festival called Hadaka Matsuri, or the Naked Festival. My initial thoughts were “What the heck?” And I didn’t exactly understand it. But the day of the festival, hearing the chants of WASSHOI echoing throughout the neighborhood as hundreds of men paraded past our house, it was impossible for me not to get swept up in the excitement, even though I didn’t know exactly what was happening. The next day I was able to talk to someone who had spent years participating in and planning parts of the festival, and he graciously spent his time teaching me the story and meaning behind the tradition. The more I learned, the more I fell in love with the festival, and now I want to share with you what it’s really about, so you can understand it, too. There are naked festivals all across Japan and each has its own story. This is the story of Konomiya shrine. Men from cities and shrines across the Owari area will form groups according to their region, and before the festival they’ll produce giant stacks of mochi as well as a naoizasa, which is a long pole made of bamboo, tied to which are the wishes of people from their city. The day of the festival, they’ll parade the naoizasa through Konomiya shrine, an act called hounou. Visitors watching from the sidelines will try to touch the men and receive strips of cloth called naoigire, for good luck. She needs to be touched. Please touch her. This year, some super awesome obasans helped me get three! Thank you!! I'm so happy! It’s called the Naked Festival, but there’s actually only one man who is completely naked. He is the shin-otoko, or literally man of god. His entire body is shaved of hair, and he spends three days before the festival purifying himself with a diet of rice, takuwan, and hot water. He plays the role of a sacrifice, absorbing the bad luck and ills of every man who can touch him. The day of the festival he has to walk through 10,000 men wearing fundoshi to get to the entrance of the shrine, called the naoiden. The hadaka men will be frantically pushing and shoving in the hopes of touching the shin-otoko, so that they can transfer their bad luck to him. As you might expect, this can be incredibly dangerous. The shin-otoko will be bruised and battered by the end of the festival. To help protect him from being crushed, he has guardians. There will be three men surrounding him, previous shin-otoko from years past. Additionally, there are two smaller shrines nearby Konomiya charged with his protection: Koike and Shoumeiji. These men, called teoketai, will run laps ahead of the shin-otoko to a well in the shrine’s grounds. They pass buckets of water back and splash them on the shin-otoko and the crowd that surrounds him, which serves several purposes. First, it cools down and lubricates the men to prevent injuries. Second, the water is thrown from the direction of the naoiden toward the men surrounding the shin otoko, with the intention of stalling them momentarily so that the shin otoko can advance toward the shrine. On average it takes about an hour for the shin-otoko to reach the naoiden. The shrine officials awaiting his arrival will attempt to grab onto the exhausted, beaten shin-otoko, still fighting the crowd of thousands of men. It’s so difficult to reach him that they’ll tie themselves with a lifeline and jump into the crowd. Everyone is wishing for the shin-otoko to make it so badly that this final, climatic event is filled with emotion and tension, and the moment he’s finally lifted through the naoiden, the almost 200,000 festival attendees erupt into cheer. But his duties don’t end here, and at midnight he’ll face more challenges. before he can finally rest. There’s much more to this story that I can’t fit into one video, so if you’re interested in the details, you can read about it on our blog. The festival is a TON of fun, so I highly recommend checking it out if you’re ever in Nagoya around this time! I hope by watching this video, instead of viewing the hadaka matsuri as some crazy Japanese festival with lots of naked men, you’ll be able to understand and appreciate it more. At the very least, it’s a lot more fun when you know what’s happening! It’s currently my favorite festival in Japan, so maybe I’ll see you here next year!