What: Festival of the Steel Phallus (An annual Shinto fertility festival)
When: First Sunday of April (Procession starts around noon)
Where: Kanayama Shrine, Kawasaki-shi (川崎市金山神社)
The Kanamara Matsuri is centered around a local penis-venerating shrine once popular among prostitutes who wished to pray for protection against sexually transmitted diseases. It is said that there are divine protections also in business prosperity and the clan's prosperity, easy delivery, marriage, and married couple harmony. There is also a legend of a sharp-toothed demon that hid inside the vagina of a young girl and castrated two young men on their wedding nights with the young girl before a blacksmith fashioned an iron phallus to break the demon's teeth, leading to the enshrinement of the item. ~Kanamara Matsuri, WikipediaThe train to Kawasaki Daishi (川崎大師) was crowded, although not as fully-packed as during the hanabi's. Hey, you don't get to see portable penis shrines all the time! Just the mere thought of it was kinky. No one bothered to make the effort to hide the naughty grin on their face.
There were three penises in the procession.
Firstly, there was the steel phallus, known as the "Kanamara boat portable shrine", donated by Hitachi Zosen Corporation.
Second in line was the one that stood out the most, the pink phallus, known as the "Elizabeth portable shrine" donated by a cross-dressing club in Asakusa by the same name. While the other two portable shrines were carried by the locals, this one was mainly carried by guys in female clothing, chanting "Kanamara! Dekkaimara!". (Steel phallus! Big phallus!)
Last but not least, there was the wooden phallus, called the "Kanamara Big Portable Shrine". This is the oldest of the three.
For some reason, the black penis is smaller than the pink one... The wooden penis, the smallest...
People went wild during the festival. Rushing forward to touch the penises, licking penis and vagina candies, old ladies showing off big Chinese pao's in the shape of a penis, cross-dressers everywhere...
There were obscene souvenirs too. A toy that when you wind up the guy, humps the girl from the back, for instance. And a handkerchief featuring different sex positions, selling at a price of 1000 yen. Also, penis and vagina key chains which are unfortunately too small to satiate your sexual desires.
Yes it was a wild festival indeed. I mean, could you have imagined seeing a girl harassing a guy with a dick?
Note: For more photos on the festival, see Kim's blog.