Kawasaki phallus festival draws huge crowds of unabashed gawkers

Apr 3, 2016

Kawasaki phallus festival draws huge crowds of unabashed gawkers

Revelers carried giant phalluses through the streets of Kawasaki on Sunday to worship the humble penis and fertility in one of the world’s most unusual festivals. Size matters at the Shinto Kanamara Matsuri, where groups of locals parade three heavy phalluses around the city ...

Meiji Shrine: grounds to ring in the year

Dec 24, 2015

Meiji Shrine: grounds to ring in the year

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As a relatively new place of worship, established less than a century ago in 1920, Meiji Shrine was originally based around the concept of wakonyōsai — a belief that treasured the Japanese "soul," while still embracing influences from the West. Its unusual omikuji, therefore, ...

Getting the year's first prayer in

Dec 24, 2015

Getting the year's first prayer in

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Whether we are Buddhists, followers of Shintoism or atheists, the first thing many Japanese do on ganjitsu (New Year’s Day) is go to their local shrine or temple for hatsumōde, a symbolic first visit of the year. If it’s not done on Jan. 1, ...

Tsunami zone volunteer becomes Shinto priest

Feb 6, 2015

Tsunami zone volunteer becomes Shinto priest

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When caregiver Kazutoshi Fujimoto first visited the town of Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture, he was volunteering because he had heard the recovery from the March 2011 quake and tsunami was going slow. The decision turned out to be a life-changing one because it led him ...