Monday, February 21, 2011

Saidaiji Hadaka Festival

aka The Naked Man Festival in Saidaiji. Or, The Big One. In my eyes, the festival is about a bunch of dudes wearing nothing but a fundoshi (that white cloth that seems like they're wearing diapers) and beating the crap out of each other to get the 'lucky stick.' Oh the dirty jokes are too many to count...

..and the fight begins! Actually the actual event was short and pretty anti-climactic compared to the preparation for the fight. The men looked like they were grouped with their work, or some other organization (so of course the foreigners were with the foreigners). The ran around the temple several times, screaming わっしょい!and getting purified by water. So not only were they running nearly naked, but running around wet. Ah well, I bet the alcohol (which none of them were not supposed to consume before the fight), was keeping them warm. I think after they threw the stick, they turned off all the lights in the temple because about 5 minutes later the lights were on and they announced the stick was caught. Little did I know that that wasn't the end of it. Now the unlucky guy had to get that stick out of the temple gates. I thought it would be more....violent, but from my view it looked very neat. It was the most organized brawl I've ever seen. But props to the foreigners/JET members who participated! I rooted for you! I'll post more pics and video on my Flickr site soon.

After the event, Jessi and I took the train back into Okayama City to wait for the others who went there via AJET. After meeting up at McDonalds (sadly the only 24 hr place open) Jessi, Caroline, Jessica and I went for karaoke. All. Night. Of course I had a taiko concert to go to the next day and while being sick. >_>

In a short note, the taiko concert was AWESOME. The group was Ura Taiko Dan. I guess the reason I loved it so much was that they were very theatrical in their performance. Their last song, Ura, had half of them dress as priests and the other as oni and the song was more or less their 'battle.' Even the kid group had a piece about Momotaro vs. the oni. And I thought my taiko group was hard! These guys were crazy!


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