Sunday, October 16, 2005

Naked Butt Festival it's actually known as the Fighting Festival (Nada no Kenka Matsuri) but believe me, it was just all about butts. Big butts, small butts, dimply butts, hairy butts, tight butts, not-so-tight butts... they were just everywhere!

The festival is said to date back to the Edo Period where men in loin cloths carry huge, heavy mikoshi (portable shrines) from their neighbourhoods to Matsubara Shrine. They then proceed to this dirt pit (sports ground) where they battle it the death! It was just like Gladiator. Not really, they just kind of battle it out, ramming into each other trying to tip the other shrine over but belive me, it's pretty damn scary when you're actually caught up in the squash and crush of sweaty, naked butt men. Every year people do get injured and sometimes even worse. Include thousands of spectators and the hypnotic drum beat of the drummers sitting inside the mikoshi, this truly was a crazy, unbelievable sight.

I tooks heaps of photos in Matsubara Shrine and decided to go for the green team. The place was packed as! After taking enough photos, I was about to head home because it was just too hot and crowded but I decided to follow the teams through the neighbourhood roads of Himeji to find out where they went afterwards. After a bit of a trek, I arrived at the sports grounds and was in awe as I entered the arena with thousands of people watching all around. Apparently I hadn't seen any Fighting Festival action yet..this was it. Just as I thought I had better get up to where all the spectators were and get out of the way, it strangely grew quiet. As I turned around I saw another team's mikoshi charging into the arena and the crowd went off and roared!

It was futile. The people around me started scampering to safetly and I was just pushed along. A few of us near the edge jumped into this ditch thing beforehand and then as the mikoshi and naked butt men charged by, onlookers were pushed into any space or crevice available to make room for the mikoshi, thus a sea of people had no where else to go but on top of us in the ditch! Luckily 3 Japanese guys kind of shielded me, probably after seeing the look of fear on my face, and I survived. After I said "Thank you" in a very emphasized foreign accent, they were surprised and then laughed "Watch out! Be careful!" haha

Some people were not so lucky. Many of them had their feet stepped on, hats knocked off, hair in disarray and we were just a tangle of people, like those monkeys in a barrel. I managed to score a great view from above and took heaps more photos. It was just insane.

After taking enough photos (again) and standing around in the heat for too long, I decided to head home after I bought some yakitori and icecream from the rows of stalls selling festival food; yakisoba, takoyaki, karaarge chicken, frankfurts, potato fries, baby custard (sponge cake balls).

Come and get it! ~ Hot & Tasty

(and that's just the guy serving it! haha)

"Go the GREEN!"

Entering the arena - Team Red


At 3:21 pm, Blogger cat said...

Wow that's some crazy stuff! You're so little i'm glad you didn't get squished too! Bwahahahaaa butt men...

At 8:48 am, Blogger Paul said...

Wow! Naked butt men battles! Just like in the army when there's only one copy of FHM between 48 guys.


At 8:50 am, Blogger Paul said...

btw - fantastic photos, as usual. keep 'em coming!

At 7:16 pm, Blogger Scarlett said...

Every once in a while it just floors my the amazingly out there things you are doing. That is so awesome! Live it up darling, it looks like the adventure of a lifetime!

Missing you heaps!


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