Hadaka Matsuri - Feast Of Naked Men

A Hadaka Matsuri ("Naked Festival") , in which participants wear a minimum amount of clothing; usually just a Japanese loincloth (called fundoshi), sometimes with a short happi coat, and rarely completely naked. Whatever the clothing, it is considered to be above vulgar, or everyday, undergarments, and on the level of holy Japanese shrine attire. Naked festivals are held in dozens of places throughout Japan every year, usually in the summer or winter. The most famous festival is held in Okayama, where the festival originated. Every year, over 9,000 men participate in this festival.

The origins of this festival date back 500 years when worshippers competed to receive paper talismans called Go-o thrown by the priest. These paper talismans were tokens of the completion of New Year ascetic training by the priests. As those people receiving these paper talismans had good things happen to them, the number of people requesting them increased year by year. However, as paper was easily torn, the talismans were changed to the wooden ofuda that we know today.

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