Penis Party 2008

The first Sunday in April is almost here, which means it’s almost time for Kawasaki’s notorious Kanamara fertility festival, at which an enormous pink penis is paraded around town by transvestites, vegetables are carved into phallic shapes, and crowds nibble on pink schlong-shaped lollipops. Before you sigh “those crazy Japanese people,” I should point out that these days the voyeuristic, giggling Western tourists outnumber the locals.
Festivities take place on Sunday April 6th, at Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine in Kawasaki from around 10AM to 4PM. To get there, take the Daishi Line to Kawasaki Daishi station. Go out of the exit and you’ll see Wakamiya Hachimangu shrine across the street, to the right.
Tel: (044) 222-3206
You can read a story I wrote about it last year, with accompanying photos, here– which is by far the most popular blog entry I’ve ever written (it’s been seen by about 100,000 people). Below are some new pictures that I didn’t post last year.

12 Responses to Penis Party 2008

  1. Woeful says:

    Yeah, I remember this from last year… Too funny!!

    • Josipa says:

      This may seem petoumprusus considering I didn’t read the entire article, but I really didn’t needed to. If I only read the title that would be enough, as this article is clearly advancing the historical myth that most of us learn in high school: that Japan would not have surrendered without being nuked, thus necessitating a bloody invasion of the main islands. In other words, “Nukes save lives.” I invite anyone who wants a more nuanced view of American history to read Ward Wilson’s 2007 article “The Winning Weapon? Rethinking Nuclear Weapons in the Light of Hiroshima.” In it he gives references to primary source documents and to analyses published by other historians, in particular by Robert Pape and Tsuyoshi Hasegawa. Here are the facts as summarized by Freeman Dyson:“1. Members of the Supreme Council, which customarily met with the Emperor to take important decisions, learned of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima on the morning of August 6, 1945. Although Foreign Minister Togo asked for a meeting, no meeting was held for three days.2. A surviving diary records a conversation of Navy Minister Yonai, who was a member of the Supreme Council, with his deputy on August 8. The Hiroshima bombing is mentioned only incidentally. More attention is given to the fact that the rice ration in Tokyo is to be reduced by ten percent.3. On the morning of August 9, Soviet troops invaded Manchuria. Six hours after hearing this news, the Supreme Council was in session. News of the Nagasaki bombing, which happened the same morning, only reached the Council after the session started.4. The August 9 session of the Supreme Council resulted in the decision to surrender.5. The Emperor, in his rescript to the military forces ordering their surrender, does not mention the nuclear bombs but emphasizes the historical analogy between the situation in 1945 and the situation at the end of the Sino-Japanese war in 1895. In 1895 Japan had defeated China, but accepted a humiliating peace when European powers led by Russia moved into Manchuria and the Russians occupied Port Arthur. By making peace, the emperor Meiji had kept the Russians out of Japan. Emperor Hirohito had this analogy in his mind when he ordered the surrender.6. The Japanese leaders had two good reasons for lying when they [told the American historian Robert Butow that the bombings impacted their decision to surrender]. The first reason was explained afterwards by Lord Privy Seal Kido, another member of the Supreme Council: “If military leaders could convince themselves that they were defeated by the power of science but not by lack of spiritual power or strategic errors, they could save face to some extent”. The second reason was that they were telling the Americans what the Americans wanted to hear, and the Americans did not want to hear that the Soviet invasion of Manchuria brought the war to an end.”In reality the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had little to do with WWII. They were not the end of that era, but the start of the next, in which the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. would create enough of these weapons to annihilate the human race many times over. This bloody hypothetical of a Tokyo invasion, this historical myth, serves to legitimize the opening salvo of the Cold War and lay the foundation for a fear-fueled national security apparatus that persists to this day. Not until we dispense with this myth can we collectively view nuclear arms for what they are: a great and greatly unnecessary threat to the world’s inhabitants.

  2. roaf says:

    Thanks. I can’t believe I’ve been to that festival three times
    …and I’m not getting any more fertile. Haha!

  3. dragonlife says:

    Too big and impratical they look all, I’m afraid!

  4. roaf says:

    Except maybe for Godzilla’s girlfriend.

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    • Sabrina says:

      Those empty slehves look almost surreal. On the one hand you're right to feel blessed, considering how much worse it could have been. But on the other hand, I can barely imagine the stress you have been under! I hope the return to normally will help somewhat. Hugs to you and H.

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  8. Luca says:

    blythe would have go gaga over the ggitnaic furry bear!tokyo 1 plz before CNY!!!!last but not least..i salute u for feeding the swan and seagull *scary*

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