Tokimata Hasuuma Hadaka Festival

Back in late autumn I had mentioned to a teacher that I liked Japanese festivals and I made a comment about how I joined the Oi Super Ogase. This teacher told me about a festival in Iida, near where she grew up, that men carry “mikoshi”, portable shrines, into the Tenryu River. Also she said it was a “hadaka,” naked, festival. Not really naked, but the men wear minimal clothes. She said that she would contact to organizers to see if I could join.  A couple months pass and she tells me that she talked to the organizers and I can join!

In February, I started to attended the Sunday festival prep. Some of the participants would meet at the temple and help get the mikoshis ready for the day. I  figured I should go and help as much as possible since they were allowing for me to join the festival. It also gave me a good chance to meet some of the other people who would be participating.

「オンスイ、オンスイ」 さむいいい! Photo: @jheath10

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March 12th, festival day. There was a pre-party for the participants at 10am. Beer, sake, chu-hi, and most likely other alcohols where being drunk. I feel to peer-pressure and had a beer and sake. After this, we moved to a temple to change and get ready. Had to change into white underwear, white pants, have thin white cloth wrapped around my torso, another white cloth wrapped around my shoulders, and finally white jikatabi, two toe shoes.

The daruma mikoshi Photo: @jheath10

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Once we were all ready, we moved to the temple where it would start. Here we made our prayer. Then it officially started. I was assigned to the mikoshi team that would carry the water bucket. We were the second to group to leave the temple and parade around the community.

@nirro04 helping carry the shrine and the beginning of the festival

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