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This Japanese Fertility Festival Has No Shortage Of Phallic Symbols

It's called the Kanamara Matsuri
by Andrei Medina | Feb 28, 2017
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Japan is known for all its weirdness and quirks, but did you know that the Land of the Rising Sun also has a festival specifically dedicated to praising the phallus, or in short, an erect penis?

That’s what usually happens during spring time on the first Sunday of April where thousands of Japanese celebrate the Kanamara Matsuri festival at the Kanayama Shrine in Kawasaki, Japan.

Here, women, children and even overly excited men gather to show their love for the penis.

There’s also no shortage of various items bearing the form of manhood including candy, carved vegetables, and illustrations which are all sold by vendors. But the crowd favorite are penis-shaped popsicles that girls (and guys) gamely eat while teasing each other during the festival.

Aside from this, large penis sculptures made from wood are displayed. It is said that women who rub these will become fertile.

The main attraction though is the penis parade, where a giant phallus statue is marched around town by shrine workers, volunteers and an immensely large crowd composed of both locals and mostly curious foreigners.

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You can’t really blame these gaijin for being all wide-eyed, but for the Japanese, they believe this festival brings in fertility especially for couples who are working towards having a baby. At the same time, it also serves as a platform to stage HIV/AIDS awareness drives especially for the Japanese youth.

According to Japanese folklore, the Kanamara Matsuri festival started in the 17th century after a sharp-toothed demon fell in love with a woman. The demon apparently loved the woman so much that he decided to stay in her vagina to block—by biting off—the cocks of her eager suitors.


Having had two men falling victim, the woman employed a blacksmith who created a meter-long steel phallus that broke the demon’s teeth.

If you’re planning to add this to your bucket list then you can check out this foreigner’s view of the festival to know more about it.

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