Each year today, March 15, a 600-pound wood boner — actual cedar wood — is led around the Japanese town of Komaki to celebrate the beginning of spring and ensure a bountiful harvest in the coming months. The strange, only-in-Japan sight is known as the Honen Matsuri, or fertility festival, an ancient Shinto ritual.
Naturally, there is a lot of saki and good cheer as Japanese young and old, near and far, visit the festival and pay homage to the woody, whether the main woody on display or any of smaller woodies that townspeople have cleverly created: sculptures, illustrations, tapered candles. There are even edible woodies — candy bars, carved vegetables — to drunkenly dramatize fellatio for the zillions of cameras all around.
And the phalluses don’t end here. Similar penis parades pop up across Japan, the largest of which is the Kanamara Matsuri, held the first Sunday in April at the Kanayama shrine in Kawasaki, near Tokyo. Legend has it that long ago an angry sharp-toothed demon inhabited the vagina of a young woman and bit off the penises of two husbands. Ouch! Finally a blacksmith forged a steel penis to trick the demon, who broke his teeth and left the poor girl alone — a tale celebrated for centuries with a delightfully pervy peen party.