Japanese women will take part in the traditional “naked festival” for the first time in over a thousand years

Japanese women will take part in the traditional “naked festival” for the first time in over a thousand years

In Japan, for the first time in history, women were allowed to take part in the ancient Hadaka Matsuri ceremony, known as the “naked festival”. However, they will not have access to the main action.

According to The Guardian, the annual festival takes place in February. Thousands of men gather at a Shinto shrine in the city of Inazawa to ward off evil spirits for the coming year.

Participants are dressed only in fundoshi (traditional loincloth), tabi socks, and hachimaki bandanas. The main element of the festival is the momiai rite – men fight with each other in order to have time to touch the “chosen man” and thus convey their failure to him before he is led to the shrine.

For the first time, the festival took place about 1250 years ago, and since then it was forbidden for women. However, this year the organizers allowed a group of about 40 women to join him.

“Naked Festival” in Japan. Photo: BEHROUZ MEHRI/Getty Images

Women will be fully clothed, make ritual offerings of bamboo grass, but will not participate in mumiai.

Organizers of festivals in Japan have recently been under pressure from the public, who demanded to open the event to all comers. This comes amid fears that the depopulation of rural areas could put an end to activities traditionally dominated by local men.

Daigo Fujinami, the head priest of the temple where the festival is held, said he was prompted by the advanced age of many local men and the lack of people to oversee the event.

However, he rejected the proposal to make the festival accessible to people living outside the city limits. Fujinami said this would not be in line with the “core rituals” that have been passed down through generations of local residents.

It will be recalled that South Korea obliged Japan to pay compensation to women who were forced to work in brothels during World War II.

Read also: In Japan, the demand for sterilization for sex change was recognized as unconstitutional

Original Source Link