Kanamara Matsuri

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Coordinates: 35°32′04.35″N 139°43′28.67″E / 35.5345417°N 139.7246306°E / 35.5345417; 139.7246306

A crowd gathers at the festival.

The Kanamara Matsuri (Festival of the Steel Phallus) is an annual Shinto fertility festival held in Kawasaki, Japan in spring. The exact dates vary: the main festivities fall on the first Sunday in April. The penis forms the central theme of the event that is reflected everywhere—in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade.

The Kanamara Matsuri is centered around a local penis-venerating shrine once popular among prostitutes who wished to pray for protection against sexually transmitted diseases. It is said that there are divine protections also in business prosperity and the clan's prosperity, easy delivery, marriage, and married couple harmony. There is also a legend of a sharp-toothed demon that hid inside the vagina of a young girl and castrated two young men on their wedding nights with the young girl before a blacksmith fashioned an iron phallus to break the demon's teeth, leading to the enshrinement of the item.

Today, the festival is used to raise money for HIV research.
Many travellers from Europe or US visit and attend the festival.

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