Culture Trip stands with Black Lives Matter. Hadaka Matsuri participants are strictly men. In Saidai-ji, the elementary school boys have a separate competition during the day, while the men compete at the stroke of midnight. Throughout the afternoon, groups of brave, loincloth-clad men race through the icy cold pool. This is the pre-game purification in order to prepare them for the competition ahead. The traditional garb for the Hadaka Matsuri is the white loincloth.
Naked Festival: Thousands gather for Japan's annual 'Hadaka Matsuri'
Hadaka Matsuri: What Happens Inside Japan's Annual "Naked Festival"
The loincloth-clad competitors gathered at the Saidaiji Temple in Okayama Prefecture for the event to celebrate prosperity and fertility. The sticks, thrown among bundles of twigs, are meant to bring a year of good fortune to whoever is lucky enough to catch them. Similar naked festivals are held throughout Japan every year, as part of a tradition that is said to stretch back years. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.
Facebook Twitter Email. The event, called "Hadaka Matsuri" in Japanese, is a wild and raucous festival held every year on the third Saturday of February at the Saidaiji Kannonin Temple, about a minute train ride from Okayama city. But the 10, or so male participants aren't as naked as the festival's name suggests. They sport a minimal amount of clothing; usually a Japanese loincloth called a "fundoshi" and a pair of white socks called "tabi.
That set off a minute tussle for the sticks, coveted as symbols of good fortune and prosperity, although most men escaped with just a few cuts and bruises, in contrast to past occasions, when some have been crushed to death. Plenty of sake and beer is sold outside the temple to warm the revelers, but a purifying plunge into pools of cold water before the start of the festival was a shock to the system for most. The annual celebration at the Saidaiji Kannonin Temple in the southern city of Okayama has its roots in a competition to grab paper talismans that dates back more than years. But as its popularity grew, the paper talismans began to rip, as did the clothes of the rising number of participants, so that eventually wooden sticks were adopted and garments discarded.