Buddhist Temples Dedicated to the Pleasures of the Flesh

from Mainichi Daily News

JAPAN - A certain sector of Aichi Prefecture, says Cyzo, is packed with sordid Shinto shrines and brazen Buddhist temples dedicated to the pleasures of the flesh.

Aichi, the monthly notes, is home to Mama Kannon, the only Buddhist temple in the country devoted entirely to the worship of women's breasts. The same prefecture is also home to the Tenteko Matsuri, a festival featuring a procession where one of the participants carries a phallic-shaped radish and grinds and thrusts their hips in time with the beat of a drum.

Cyzo points out that Aichi is also well-known for the internationally famous Tagata Jinja fertility festival, where a huge reproduction of a male organ is paraded through the streets atop a shrine.

Perhaps the most outlandish of all Aichi's flesh festivals, however, takes place each March 15 in the city of Inuyama. It's the Onnagata fertility festival, one of the few in the Japan to deify the female genitalia - an extremely rare feat in a land where other graphic depictions of the same object are usually treated with Orwellian standards of censorship.

The festival itself centers on a parade. Shrine priests and shrine maidens ride, for some reason, in a convertible that heads the procession. A flattop truck follows closely behind their vehicle.

On Otakumi?! OtifukU!the bed of the truck is a huge work of art which, at first glance, bears a close resemblance to Otafuku, the ruddy cheeked Japanese goddess of mirth and merriment.

Closer inspection, however, reveals that Otafuku's mouth is actually an extremely accurate depiction of a woman's privates.

In some ways, the festival is literally a centuries-old Japanese version of a Vagina Monolog.

Up until a few decades ago, Cyzo says, there was little effort made to conceal the body part in a work of art and the areas where the festival was held were festooned with flags covered in pictures of
pudenda [Our Word-of-the-Day!].
A portable shrine made to look like the same organ featured in the festival, but postwar values deemed that to be going a bit too far. Organizers decided to go for what the monthly calls a "more sophisticated erotica."


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