Japan’s Hadaka Matsuri Event Offers the Naked Truth

There are many festivals and events around the world that just seem crazy to the average person when reading about them. However, if we look deeper we realize they’re traditional and usually have some deep meaning to them. For instance, take the annual Hadaka Matsuri event that’s going to be held in Inazawa City in Japan on Feb 15th.

hadaka matsuri event

During this festival which can be traced back to 767 BC, bare-bottomed men gather in the city streets and hope to touch a naked man, who is known as the Shin-otokoa.  The local Shinto tradition believes that all bad luck will be absorbed by the naked man if a person touches him. The naked man is burdened with all of the community’s ills and is then expelled from it.

However, people who are chosen as the Shin-otokoa feel it’s a great honor. Before the festival begins, the person chosen is purified by having all of his body hair shaven. Then he takes to the streets and thousands of men try to touch him to rid themselves of evil.

The man is completely naked and the other participants wear loincloths and sandals and only these people are allowed to touch him. The naked man eventually pays tribute to the Shinto deity of the shrine, gets dressed and then has to leave the city, taking all of its evil with him.

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