End of an Era: Japan's Historic 'Naked Man Festival' Comes to a Close After Over 1,000 Years

Japan's annual "naked man festival," also known as the Somin-sai festival, came to an end after more than 1,000 years due to a declining population in the area.

The festival involved loincloth-clad men wrestling for ownership of a bag of talismans blessed by the temple's chief priest.

The festival, which was held annually on the seventh day of the Lunar New Year, took place at the Kokusekiji Temple in Oshu. This year's winner, Kikuchi Toshiaki, expressed sadness about the festival ending, stating, "It is sad that the festival is ending. I participated in hopes that it would be a memorable festival."


Daigo Fujinami, the chief priest of the Kokusekiji Temple, announced that this year's festival would be the last due to the aging of individuals involved and a shortage of successors. Fujinami explained, "While efforts were made to continue the festival to the best of our abilities, in order to prevent last-minute cancellations or disruptions in the future, the decision to cancel the festival itself has been made."

The decision to end the festival was met with mixed emotions from the community. An official from the festival's preservation association, where Toshiaki is a member, expressed disappointment at the conclusion of the long-standing tradition. The festival's cancellation marks the end of an era, bringing closure to a historic event that has been celebrated for centuries.

As news of the festival's conclusion spread, many reflected on the cultural significance of the event that had been a part of Japanese tradition for generations. Despite the sadness surrounding its end, the memories and experiences shared during the festival will be cherished by those who participated in the historic event. The legacy of the "naked man festival" will live on in the hearts and minds of those who celebrated its unique customs and rituals.

Posted in Entertainment Sex Life Culture & Travel Business & Politics by Paul van der Maas

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By on 04/18/24 08:09

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