Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Place

This is where it all happens! Most of the pictures that you'll see from here on out are taken to the left of me here - we were standing behind that wooden wall in a little pocket between this shrine and the one in the last picture, which is further to the left. Toward the right of the picture, you can see a little opening in the shrine with some little steps leading up to it. This is where the shin-otoko ends up when all the excitement is over. The shin-otoko is the Naked Man. He's the only one who is entirely naked on this day, but no worries - you'll never be able to see him. I've heard different translations of shin-otoko - new man, god man, etc. Basically, in touching him you heap all of your bad luck, evil spirits, unclean acts, and whatever else upon him. I think that he was then origially driven out of town; I don't think that happens anymore. At any rate, all of the guys you'll soon see filling this courtyard will be doing their best to touch this poor guy. The ages of 23 and 42 are allegedly unlucky, so guys of these ages are supposedly particularly likely to be at this festival. Posted by Picasa



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