Tag Archive for winter

Naked Man Festival

The first photos from Nagoya’s Naked Man Festival. More will be available at my agent’s website and my own portfolio. This event was held as snow from the previous two days was still fresh and melting, so of course the participants need to be rolling drunk to do this, which means some fall over and scrap themselves on the ground. Also, a late afternoon cold wind whipped up so the ambulance crews arrived, perhaps to treat those suffering hypothermia.The Naked Man Festival (hadaka matsuri) is an annual event that began in the year 767ad, in the Nara Period. The event is held to removed bad luck and bestow good luck on the people. In the past, this event has attracted 180,000 spectators and 12,000 (naked) male participants.


Buy this Naked Man Festival Hadaka Matsuri photo

The event features a number of motifs, including teams based on township, giving gifts to the Kounomiya shrine, being drunk on sake, climbing bamboo poles, giving strips of cloth to spectators (mainly to women), and more. The gifts that are given to the shrine include a tuna, a barrel of sake, banners and long bamboo poles. For the first time visitor the bamboo poles seem to be the most important part. The teams carry all of these things, and stop along the way to throw their bamboo pole up, erecting it, and someone will climb it. It seems that each town’s bamboo poles are different. I guess that the more support from the town equates to a bigger and better bamboo pole. These poles are wrapped in cloth and lashed with rice-hemp rope. The event is held according the the lunar calendar at about the second weekend after the Lunar New Year (or 15th January, lunar calendar). More information can be found at Nagoya Info and the English Wikipedia site.

The annual Naked Man Festival is held just after the Lunar New Year.

The Naked Man Festival (hadaka matsuri) is an annual event that began in the year 767ad, in the Nara Period. The event is held to removed bad luck and bestow good luck on the people. In the past, this event has attracted 180,000 spectators and 12,000 (naked) male participants.

The annual Naked Man Festival is held just after the Lunar New Year.

The Naked Man Festival (hadaka matsuri) is an annual event that began in the year 767ad, in the Nara Period. The event is held to removed bad luck and bestow good luck on the people. In the past, this event has attracted 180,000 spectators and 12,000 (naked) male participants.

 

More information from a blog post for the 2009 event:

The Naked Man Festival (Hadaka Matsuri) is an annual even held at Kounomiya, just outside of Nagoya City in central Japan. It’s held in the depths of winter and is a weekend-long event. The part that the public sees (and is shown in my portfolios) is held in the afternoon. The event date varies from year to year, according to the Chinese lunar calendar, but is held during the lunar New Year.

It began over 1,200 years ago, in the year 767, when Nara was the capital of Japan. At that time, there were plagues affecting the Japanese people, so Emperor Shotoku ordered special prayers to be said nation wide. The governor of Owari Province (now Aichi Prefecture) asked the shrine at Kounomiya to do something about this, and to remove the bad luck. So, the Naked Man Festival, held in the coldest time in winter was formulated.

How to get there:

From Nagoya Station, take the Meitetsu company Inuyama line limited-express train straight to Konomiya Station (actual spelling in Roman characters may vary). The trip should take about 12 minutes, for ¥350. Please check Hyperdia.Com for current schedules and ticket prices.


Buy this Naked Man Festival Hadaka Matsuri photo

Photo of the week, 10 Oct

Wow, I never knew how addictive Google+ could be. I joined in the time when it was invite only (thanks to Adobe Express on Twitter for the invite), and since G+ went public… wow! Consequently I missed last weeks POTW.

This photo was taken in Shirakawa, a mountain village listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features old style large farm houses with thatched roofs. The village opens only a few times during winter where they set up flood lights to allow people to see the houses at night, making the whole place look like a Christmas card. More Shirakawa photos can be seen at my PhotoShelter portfolio.

Shirakawa

Shirakawa is a small village in the Japan Alps, and is protected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. I arrived with two friends to find the place in constant snow, and it got heavier by dusk. It’s an amazing place to experience. I spent several winters wondering how to get there, as most Japanese people seemed to believe that it was snowed in for the entire winter. In contrast, the village organises a series of light ups for tourists to come in and view the village. The day I was there, the day time high was two degrees Celsius (a shade above freezing), to minus six below freezing.


Shirakawa, Japan – Images by Andrew Blyth

Nabana no Sato

A couple admiring a field of decorative lights at night

A couple admiring a field of decorative lights at night

Nabana no Sato (Nabana Park) is so named after a local plant called ‘nabana’. Nabana Park is a privately owned botanic gardens and it draws the crowds. Each season they have some feature display. In winter, they have the night time “winter illumination”. Photography wise, there’s very few interesting opportunities, but it is a great place to take your date.

For the intrepid photographer, there are a few nice opportunities. But the best is when you get completely bored (no date), and get wildly experimental (see below). These images should soon appear on my portfolio at Asia Photo Connection (Henry Westheim Photography).

The chapel lit up at Nabana no Sato (Nabana Park)

The chapel lit up at Nabana no Sato (Nabana Park)

Textures and patterns made with lights for backgrounds

Textures and patterns made with lights for backgrounds

Naked Man Festival

The Naked Man Festival (Hadaka Matsuri) is an annual even held at Kounomiya, just outside of Nagoya City in central Japan. It’s held in the depths of winter and is a weekend-long event. The part that the public sees (and is shown in my portfolios) is held in the afternoon. The event date varies from year to year, according to the Chinese lunar calendar, but is held during the lunar New Year.

It began over 1,200 years ago, in the year 767, when Nara was the capital of Japan. At that time, there were plagues affecting the Japanese people, so Emperor Shotoku ordered special prayers to be said nation wide. The governor of Owari Province (now Aichi Prefecture) asked the shrine at Kounomiya to do something about this, and to remove the bad luck. So, the Naked Man Festival, held in the coldest time in winter was formulated (first published by me at Winjeel.Com, Feb 2009).

See these portfolios:

PhotoShelter, Asian Photo Connection, and Gekko Images.


Naked Man Festival – Images by Andrew Blyth

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