January 26, 2009

Manly Festivals: Getting Cold and Naked

An English speaker introduces a manly festival in this video. What is going on here? I shall explain a bit.

I think I implied that the first manly post would get a followup, so here it is.
What is more manly than running around with other naked men? Nothing! Actually, 裸祭 (naked festivals) usually don't have truly naked guys. You get a ふんどし (loincloth). But that's about it. Some people seem to get the wrong impression about these things and think that naked=sexuality*, but think of it as purity. Manly purity. In fact the whole thing about being in your starkers in the cold is about purifying your soul.
Speaking of cold, half-naked manliness, you don't get any more wicked cool than these guys. I've heard of meditating under a frigid waterfall, but martial arts training on top of it is just solid.

These gung-ho gung-fu men (okay, karate, but you gotta love alliteration) gather on the coldest day of the year to gather their ki in such concentrations that small animals in the area explode.
Bonus (Japanese only) reading: Check out these guys, dousing themselves with frigid water.
And an article about the freezing fists above.
* Some foreigners seem to not get the nudity is not the same as sexuality in this context. But hey, I just wrote a vaugely homosexual-looking post (I am, for the record, a Claysexual).

Girls sometimes participate and wear fundoshi too. But this is pretty rare. Anyways, the "Many" terminology is not meant to be much more than a humorous framework for these posts! A man admits that the women folks be manly too.