From the mainichi daily news (with minor corrections by me):
Recently married men hurled down snowy Niigata slope in time-honored traditionI now have a goal: get married in Japan, and get hurled. Then go to my recently purchased island for a warm honeymoon. I wonder how many people it would take to hurl my giant self?
Local people in Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture, throw a recently married man down a snowy slope in a time-honored ceremony.
TOKAMACHI, Niigata -- Local residents threw two recently married men down a snowy slope during a time-honored, New Year tradition [did we mention it's time-honored yet?].
A local apprentice cook in Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture, and a company employee from Tokyo's Shinagawa-ku were hurled down a five-meter-long, snow-covered slope in the Matsunoyama hot spa area in Tokamachi on Jan. 15.
The two men rolled down the slope to the bottom, where their wives were waiting. "I feel fantastic," one of the men said [The other simply screamed, no doubt in joy, or maybe it was the broken leg].
Later, participants in the event coated each others' faces with snow mixed with ash in hopes of health and prosperity ["The burning in your eyes let's you know it's full of prosperity," said one participant].
Local tradition states that a young man started the practice to vent his anger after a man from another area married a girl he was in love with ["No really, I'm over her now!" is also traditionally shouted].