5/15/2009

Honen Matsuri Harvest Festival

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Honen Matsuri (Hoonen Matsuri 豊年祭)

***** Location: Tagata Shrine, Aichi
***** Season: Early Summer
***** Category: Observance


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Explanation

田県神社の豊年祭
Shrine Tagata Jinja
豊年祭り
豊年祭(ほうねんさい / ほうねんまつり)
hoonensai / hoonen matsuri
May 15

CLICK for more photos of the festival

This festival is better known in English as
PENIS FESTIVAL, for obvious reasons.

CLICK for original LINK, Japanese TAGATA

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inkei 陰茎(ペニス)penis




. WASHOKU - Sex and Food at the Festival  


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quote
Good Harvest Festival. A festival held at Ōagata Shrine (Ōagata jinja, Oagata Jinja 大縣神社) in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture. The Sunday closest to March 15 is the festival day. Also called the Hime no Miya Hōnen Festival. The festival complements the Good Harvest Festival of Tagata Shrine and is famous for the worship of genitalia.
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Called the Yin (in or female) festival in contrast to the Yang (yō or male) festival of Tagata Shrine, rocks symbolizing the female genitals are enshrined.
There is a procession of a sacred palanquin (mi-koshi) representing the female genitals, great banners (ō-nobori), and decorated horses. Good luck mochi are scattered from a sacred palanquin carrying a giant clam. In front of the shrine hall onlookers scramble for valuable items hanging from the large sakaki. These are talismans for safe birth, getting married, and satisfaction in married life.

There is also the Good Harvest Festival on the Sunday closest to March 15 at Tagata Shrine in Komaki City, Aichi Prefecture. It is said that this transporting of the deity rite is based on a legend about the enshrined kami, Takeinazumi-no-mikoto, who had an enormous penis and took to wife the local Aratahime-no-mikoto. The festival involves the transporting of the deity from Shinmei Shrine or Kubo Temple to Tagata Shrine. A linga (penis) almost two meters in length rides on the sacred palanquin, following a large banner upon which a penis is drawn. The banner is carried by youths, and at the shrine the onlookers scramble to claim pieces of it. The talismans that are on the banner pieces are skewered, and it is said that if these are placed in the fields the harvest will be good. It is also said they will bless one with good relationships and keep away sexual diseases. It is said that if one does not attend both this festival and the Yin festival at Ōagata Shrine then one will not prosper.
— Mogi Sakae
source : — Mogi Sakae / Kokugakuin University

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quote
Tagata Jinja is a Shinto shrine in Komaki just north of Nagoya, and as such is just one of many that can be found throughout Japan. It symbolizes the strong spatial and temporal linkage of the people to the community of Komaki, which until comparatively recently was a farming area. The Hounen festival at Tagata shrine is one of the most famous (or infamous?) festivals in Japan. Amongst foreigners visiting Aichi Prefecture it is frequently referred to as the "penis shrine", or "Japanese penis festival", primarily due to the ancient Hounen Matsuri (a festival celebrating fertility and renewal), which is held here every March 15th.

Every year on March 15 a huge two and a half meter wooden phallus is carried the short distance between two shrines attracting visitors from all over Japan and international media attention. The festival is fun with a lot of sake drinking, however the background of the festival is rather more serious. A shrine is a place of worship. It houses divine spirits and preserves the memory and practice of many aspects of Japanese culture. This file is intended to introduce some of the history, mythology, rituals, and customs of Tagata Jinja.

History:
Tagata Jinja is believed to be about 1500 years old, due to discoveries in 1935 of an ancient sword and extensive pottery fragments. These days the shrine is surrounded by suburbia, but until recently it was surrounded by a forest called "Agata", a name believed to have derived from the name of one of the rulers of the local area during the end of the Yamato period (approx 3rd-5th century AD). These rulers were warriors who settled the area from Nara as the emerging feudal Japanese state defeated and displaced indigenous Ainu tribes and pushed its frontiers to the east. According to the official history of the shrine, the daughter of the feudal lord was called Tamahime, and was bethrothed to Takeinadane. The tradition holds that Takeinadane was killed in a distant battle and that his wife and children (and powerful father in law) developed the area. Tagata Jinja stands on the site of Tamahime's residence, and she is the principal deity (called kami in Japanese) enshrined here.

Enshrined as Tamahime-no-mikoto, she is worshipped in the main sanctuary of the building called the honden. This is the main shrine building. Behind and to the left of this structure, you can find another building called the Shinmeisha which contains a large number of natural and man-made objects, almost all of which are either shaped like a penis or have some phallic theme. It is important to understand that the worship is not of the phalli, but instead a worship of the earth, of the power that nature has through renewal and regeneration. It is this context that provides the phallus with its significance.

Fertility:
With everything from penis shaped candy to suck on, phallus keychains, azuki filled dumplings in the shape of the male member, and small wooden objects to take home as souvenirs, it is easy to think that it is the phallus that is being worshipped. This is not the case. Each of the hundreds of objects in the shrine buildings are essentially offerings to the enshrined deity, and are venerated as such.
In the past, the shrine often lended these phalluses to those in need, for example a couple wishing to conceive, an individual searching for a suitable spouse, or to cure childhood illnesses. The objects were returned with interest, for after the desired result was obtained the borrowed phallus was returned to the shrine, along with a new object donated in gratitude.

However what the veneration is about though is the worship of a feminine deity. The kami is female and embodies fertility and fecundity. Not far from Tagata shrine there is another place of worship called Ogata (Oogata) Jinja, where the objects are representative of female genitalia. In an agricultural community, the sacred feminine was worshipped, and the rituals that have survived to this day at the Tagata shrine were celebrations of this, conducted in order to ensure bountiful agricultural harvests, regeneration and renewal as well as human birth. In this way the Hounen matsuri is similar to other fertility rituals around the world. Hounen means bountiful year.
The festival is held March 15th because spring is the time of regeneration where seeds sprout and dormant trees and plants that seem to be dead come back to life.

March 15th Hounen-sai:
For most of the year, Tagata Jinja is very quiet. Most of the visitors are young couples, sometimes coming to pray for successful conception, sometimes coming to give thanks for safe child birth. Tagata's fertility festival, as with most festivals in Japan, is treated in a lighthearted way with much sake and noisy behavior. Modern Japanese society is less dependent on the vagaries of seasons and harvests and so the importance of agricultural traditions has faded, however it is obvious that people do take it seriously, solemnly approaching the permanent shrines and praying in silence. You see the occasional busload of tourists, often from Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, but for the most part Tagata is silent. In the lead up to March 15th, there is constant preparation, however most of it is behind the scenes.

The matsuri, known as the Hounen-sai, has always had the objective of ensuring a bountiful harvest. It is mostly a procession symbolizing the visit of the male Takeinadane to the powerful and waiting female Tamahime-no-mikoto. While not a matriarchal society, women held high social status in the Yamato period and after marriage were usually not required to join their spouse's household. The young warrior Takeinadane probably visited his wife instead of living together. These visits are symbolized in the procession.

Each year, a new giant wooden phallus 大男茎型 (おおおわせがた) of about 2 meters length and 60 cm diameter is carved from a large hinoki (cypress) tree. In Japan newly made objects are thought to express more purity and vitality. The tree is brought to the shrine for purification rituals during the coldest part of the winter, before a master craftsman begins to shape it. The craftsman uses only traditional tools and wears clothing that has also been purified through rituals at the shrine. It is this phallus that will be the central focus of the procession, and then be placed into the Shinmeisha shrine as the principal phallus after the festival.

Originally the phallus was much smaller and attached to a straw effigy of a samurai warrior, possibly representing Takeinadane. However in time this was considered a bit too risque even for a fertility ritual, so the effigy was discarded and the phallus was paraded by itself. As its size was still about 1 meter long, the phallus was paraded by itself, carried by 4 or 5 people. However, this practice was also altered with the partial shielding of the phallus by a small portable shrine (mikoshi), the same style that houses it today.

As if to compensate for not being fully revealed, the size of the phallus has grown considerably over the years until it is now about 2.5 meters (13 feet) long and weighs 280 kilograms (620 pounds). It protudes from both ends of the portable shrine, and when considering the extra weight of the later, the bearers are basically struggling under a weight of 400 kilograms (885 pounds). Some 60 men in total (sometimes more) work in teams of 12 to deliver it to Tagata Shrine.

The organization and funding of the festival requires months of constant preparation and close coordination between shrine, village and regional authorities including the police. It is a major event. The procession begins at Kumano shrine about 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from Tagata Shrine.

CLICK for original LINK The parade is lead by a priest, who acting as a herald purifies the route by scattering salt on either side of the path the shrine will take on its journey. He is followed by standard bearers, the last of which carries a tall banner about 3 feet wide and seven feet high. This banner has a huge phallus painted on it that is sufficiently graphic that it could be used to teach anatomy.

Next there is a group of Shinto priests, who accompany one of their members dressed as the deity Sarutahiko-no-okami, distinctive with red face, large protruding nose and a shock of hair. He fulfills the role of the deity who led the descent of Amaterasu from heaven to earth - the sun goddess and giver of all life. Sarutahiko-no-okami is followed closely by 2 men carrying a chest containing offerings of food (rice and fruit) as well as a phallus shaped stone(an example of one of the natural objects referred to above). Accompanying them and usually stirring up the crowd is the sake cart, with the volunteers attending to the cart dispensing sake in paper cups to anyone close enough to reach.

With the crowd excited, it is time for the main event, the arrival of the two portable shrines. First is the shrine carrying a wooden statue of Takeinadene-no-mikoto, the visiting husband of the agricultural deity. And finally it is time for the big penis, the huge hinoki-wood phallus. It is heavy, but at this stage is carried by 12 men who are all aged 42. For women the unlucky age was 36, for men 42.

Once the newly carved giant phallus arrives at the shrine it is enshrined in the Shinmei shrine for the next year. The old phallus is sold to local businesses or private homes. It is perhaps an unsettling thought that these phalli are all over the neighborhood. The new owner makes an altar where the phallus is installed and venerated with periodic rituals and offerings.

source : Yamasa Institute, Aichi prefecture


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There are many other festivals in Japan for a bountiful harvest.
And other festivals where the penis is the object of veneration.


at the shrine Dontsuku Jinja in Shizuoka静岡県賀茂郡東伊豆町稲取の「どんつく神社」
The penis (don) is sticking out (tsuku). On the first tuesday/wednesday in June there is a big festival.
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In Fukuoka there is a "Man Soul Rock", connected to the "Woman Soul Rock" in the sea with a straw rope. In November, there is a Male Soul Festival 男魂祭.
福岡県田川郡添田町の深倉峡には奇岩「男魂岩」
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Worldwide use


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Things found on the way




phallus Daruma from my collection

dankon 男根 inkei 陰茎 penis


- - More about the phallic connection to Daruma:

Daruma’s Evolution into a Phallic Talisman
Example of Daruma art lending itself to phallic symbolism
As shown ... ,
Daruma artwork lent itself easily to phallic symbolism without any need for folkloric references. Yet, there is little doubt that Daruma’s metamorphosis into the male organ was pushed along by the widespread use in the late Edo era of the armless and legless Daruma tumbler doll talisman against smallpox. When knocked on its side, the doll pops back to the upright position and therefore symbolizes
(1) a speedy recovery from illness, akin to “getting back on one’s feet;” or
(2) resilience, undaunted spirit, and determination.

Such imagery can be easily employed to describe the down-up, soft-hard nature of the male sexual organ. With only a little imagination, one can easily understand why Daruma paintings and talismanic representations fell naturally under the same phallic sway. Says scholar Bernard Faure: “Until the Meiji period, phallic representations of Daruma in stone or papier mache were sold.



The name ‘Daruma’ was also a nickname given in the Edo period to prostitutes, perhaps because, like the doll, these specialists of tumble could raise the energy of their customers........ There is also in Zen iconography a representation of the ’erect Bodhidharma.’ The sexual symbolism is played out in the ukiyoe [woodblock prints], where Daruma appears as woman — a courtesan, or a transvestite Daruma and Okame. A representation in which one sees him in the company of two prostitutes — male and female — on a boat made from a reeds associates the sexual motif with that of the crossing of the Yangzi River............[also] as Hartmut Rotermund has been pointed out, the image of Daruma standing up (okiagari Daruma) connotes metaphorically the fact of recovering from an illness, of overcoming it rapidly and lightly.”

- source : Mark Schumacher


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DARUMA MUSEUM
Wayside Deities and Fertility Rites
 


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A deity born from a penis
Okuyamatsumi no kami 奥山祇命(おくやまつみのみこと)

A kami produced from the belly of the fire deity Kagutsuchi when he was beheaded by his father Izanagi. According to Kojiki, Izanagi's wife Izanami died as the result of burns received when giving birth to the fire deity. Grieving at Izanami's death, Izanagi cut off Kagutsuchi's head with his ten-span sword, thus producing some eight kami from Kagutsuchi's blood and body, including Okuyamatsumi.

The other deities included
Masakayamatsumi no kami (head),
Odoyamatsumi no kami (chest),
Okuyamatsumi no kami (penis),
Shigiyamatsumi no kami (left hand),
Hayamatsumi no kami (right hand),
Harayamatsumi no kami (left foot), and
Toyamatsumi no kami (right foot).

In the same episode as related in an "alternate writing" of Nihongi, five deities were produced from Kagutsuchi, but Okuyamatsumi's name is not listed among them.
source : Yumiyama Tatsuya . Kokugakuin University


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quote
Fertility Festival
With spring comes a rash of fertility festivals, designed to further the success of the year’s crops. These have ancient origins and go back to a time when the very existence of villagers depended on the success of the harvest. In a country of unpredictable weather and constant disasters, beseeching the help of the kami was a matter of vital importance.
One such festival happens every year on Feb. 11 in the Yamato basin near Omiwa Jingu, when two neighbouring shrines hold a joint festival. The male kami of one shrine is symbolically coupled with the female kami of the other by the use of phallic and vaginal shaped rice ropes.
MORE
source : www.greenshinto.com


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CLICK for more photos
In Kawasaki in the grounds of Wakamiya Hachiman Jingu 若宮八幡宮 at the shrine Kanayama Jinja 金山神社 on the first sunday in April a big Penis Festival is held and attracts many foreigners from the Kanto area.

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Reference : Kanayama Shrine Penis Festival


Kanayama Shrine 金山神社 Kawasaki

This shrine in Kawasaki is especially popular with foreigners.
During the annual Phallus Festival (Kanamara Matsuri かなまら祭) in the first week of April many replicas can be seen.

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The exact dates vary: the main festivities fall on the first Sunday in April. The penis, as the central theme of the event, is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !



spring in the air
with buds shiny tender shapes--
kanamara matsuri


- Shared by Brinda Buljore -
Haiku Culture Magazine, 2013



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HAIKU


豊年やはちきれさうな馬の尻
hoonen ya hachikiresoo na uma no shiri

year with a bountiful harvest -
the rear side of the horse
is almost bursting


Kintoo Yuuko 金藤優子
Tr. Gabi Greve

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penis festival ...
the number of foreigners grows
year by year

Nakayama Ishino, 2008


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Related words

***** . tsuburosashi つぶろさし tsuburo fertility dance
Sado Island, June 15 



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5 comments:

anonymous said...

That's a festival that would never be alowed in the U.S. where westerners claim to be so progressive, lol

Pris said...

Gabi, what an amazing post. Thank you. I agree with anonymous. If a group tried to do that here, the church would object and it would cause either shock, censorship or drunken revelry!

Gabi Greve said...

Thanks for commenting !
Yes, there are some rather special festivals in Japan ... I hope to introduce more as I find the time.
Gabi

Gabi Greve said...

Sake 酒 for rituals and festivals

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http://japanshrinestemples.blogspot.jp/2015/04/sake-rituals-festivals.html
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Gabi Greve said...

Aichi - Mikawa
tenteko suzu てんてこ鈴 Tenteko clay bell (in form of a male symbol)
for the Tenteko festival てんてこ祭り.

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An annual Tenteko festival held on January 3rd to pray for an abundant crop yield. The festival is said to have started in the Heian Period. Yaku-otoko (men of an unlucky age) wear a red costume and hang a daikon radish from their waist as a symbol of masculinity. They then march through the town and shaking their hips, accompanied by the sound of drums.
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http://omamorifromjapan.blogspot.jp/2011/07/aichi-folk-toys.html
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