字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント For most of the year, Kounoniya Shrine is a peaceful place... but in the height of winter, religious ritual joins with drunken delirium to create one of Japan's most extraordinary sights -- the annual Nagoya nude festival. The celebrations begin solemnly enough...Five men are competing for the chance to become a spiritual superhero... the Spirit Man, a type of Japanese exorcist, able to absorb the sins and enormous punishment. The lucky candidate is Shoji Shibata, a professional bonsai farmer. He is not allowed show any emotion... understandable, given what lies ahead. "Last year I applied but I missed out. This year, they have allowed me to be the Spirit Man so I am very happy." "You're going to be beaten, frozen -- not to mention naked -- in front of the whole town, and yet you're very happy about this. Why does it mean so much to you?" "That's right. As for as I'm concerned, this is more important and more difficult thanfinding a wife . Yes." First stop is the barber... for a very close shave. This is only the beginning... every single hair on the Spirit Man's body must be removed. The idea is to turn him into a baby -- hairless and pure. "I am now feeling very tense. I'm starting to become aware of my responsibilities as Spirit Man and starting to think more about the festival." After changing into something a little less comfortable, the Spirit Man is escorted into the Shrine. He must spend three days praying, purifying... and fasting. Outside the gates, the build-up begins. Men from rival neighbourhoods gather at the Shrine. The temperature is close to zero. The thonged throngs are freezing their butts off... and loving every minute of it. "It's cold, it's cold! It's very cold but my heart is warm." Now there is nothing that makes you feel as excited as this!" They're vigorous and it's fabulous!" Nine thousand loincloth-clad men are taking part..." with 130,000 supporters cheering them on It's an authorised escape from strict codes of behaviour... a celebration of local identity...an affirmation of the group That is why everyone is dressed, or undressed, the same... removing clothes also removes hierarchies of profession and class. Those who are unable to participate -- the frail and the female -- give talismans to those who can. The festival is secret men's business... women are strictly forbidden. "It's more important than my wife. It's a men's festival once a year. Only men can understand." I want to participate! I want to! But even though I have the wish, I cannot do it because I'm too old and embarrassed!" Eventually, the Spirit Man emerges and the mayhem begins Unlike his friends, Shoji Shibata is completely naked -- not that you can tell amid the seething swarm The men desperately try to touch him, believing their bad luck will rub off. "I want my body to be healthy, I want to exorcise the evil spirits and hope nothing will happen to hurt me. I want to gain profit at work "I want my body to be healthy, I want to exorcise the evil spirits and hope nothing will happen to hurt me. I want to gain profit at work --it's important It's wet, it's wild, but it's not unique. In fact nude festivals are quite common in Japan. Particularly in winter, when the weather turns cold it seems many men feel compelled to prove their manhood by exposing it. then jumping in rivers, rolling in the snow or running around like this. Japan prides itself on being modern, industrial but according to the priests that run the show, traditional festivals are more popular than ever "I often hear how Japanese people love their festivals. I think that even modern people still want to share their joy and come together to be united in their feelings." The Nude Festival is one of Japan's biggest and oldest annual events. It dates back more than one thousand years. "The Festival began when the Emperor personally ordered that people drive away the plague and other bad things from the country. It suggests that all people should be healthy and live in peace." Healthy and peaceful perhaps... but injuries are common... deaths, not unheard of. The poor Spirit Man cops most of it; local firemen provide some protection using icy water to cool hotheads. music Today's Spirit Man gets off relatively lightly... in the bad old days -- a few hundred years ago -- you didn't get to volunteer. The local people would chase, catch and kill a passer-by. Now though, after an hour of punishment, the priests mount a rescue mission... a cross between bungy jumping and crowd surfing.Eventually, the poor Spirit Man is dragged to safety. I feel very thankful. Everybody protected me, and I am happy that it ended safely. I kept everybody's voices of support in my heart. The only thing I thought about was carrying out my duty with all my might." But his ordeal is not yet over. A few hours later, in the middle of the night, in the middle of the woods, the Nude Festival reaches its climax. By now, the Spirit Man is barely able to stand. A black rice cake is attached to his back -- a symbol of the city's sins. The Spirit Man does a few laps of the Shrine... is pelted with prayers... and then banished into the night. Finally, he is free to go home... his duty done. Shoji Shibata is bruised and broken but well aware that in 12 months time he'll be dishing out the punishment rather than receiving it.