Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The End of My Political Aspirations

Okay some quick housekeeping first and foremost.

-The Earthquakes in the Kumamoto area of Japan have not affected us in Nagoya.  For that I am thankful.  We are safe and sound.  And I am so incredibly grateful for the family and friends who have checked in with us to make sure we're okay.  But there are many who are not okay, and relief efforts are being hindered by the destruction of roads and railways in and out of the area, as well as more and more fierce storms battering the shorelines.  If you are so inclined, this article is a great guideline for where and how you can help:  http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/04/17/national/kumamoto-quake-info-where-to-go-how-to-help/#.VxYJ95N96Rs

-The Mister and I are taking off at the end of the week for two very great reasons: a very needed vacation, and to celebrate my very wonderful little cousin get hitched, all from a resort in CANCUN.  So there shall be no blog posts the next few weeks while I tan myself to a crisp at a swim-up bar.  You understand.

Okay.  Got all that?  Great.  Let’s talk about the Penis Parade.
Maybe I should have added a disclaimer:  hey family, I really did go to a penis festival, so, you know, read at your own risk.

Spring sees a myriad of fertility festivals throughout Japan, and almost all of them center around the most easily recognizable visual representation of fertility.  I’m talking about d*cks here people.  Keep up.

Obviously, this is a festival which participants hope brings luck for new babies to be made.  It celebrates babies that are already on the way.  And in a less obvious way, is also about the vitality of the crops for the year.

About a month back, I went with a few people (who will retain their anonymity for their own possible political aspirations…but you could probably guess) to the penis festival in Komaki, which is both the closest fertility festival to us here in Nagoya, and also one of the more well-known festivals in Japan.  So that worked out well.  I’m happy to report we let ourselves get a little campy with it, which seemed in the spirit of the day.

Oh yes folks, I ate a corndog shaped like a penis.
I ate a chocolate covered banana with a marshmallow at the tip sculpted to make it look like a penis.
And I ate a sucker which was… you guessed it, shaped like a penis.  The number of SUPER amused Japanese folks who took pictures of us while we ate our penis suckers was out of this world.  And the more brazen ones actually asked us “do you know what you’re eating?
Nope, no.  We don’t have d*cks in America.

We waited in line to see the giant wooden penis in the shrine.  We waited in line to see the giant metal testicles… until we realized that women were touching the balls to be blessed with babies and then promptly exited said line.  We drank sake. We *almost* purchased little penis statues.  We watched the amazing parade that featured a giant wooden penis that was spun around like a hit record every so often along the route.  

Don’t believe me?  HA.  Hahahahahaha. hitplayidareyou. (NSFW)

I had a blast.  And, somewhere in Spain, I was broadcast on an English-speaking TV channel being interviewed about the festival while mowing down on that aforementioned penis-nana.  Japan, I hope you feel I represented your festival well.

from L to R: TV camera man.  Nana-weiner vending booth.  Fellow foreigner blurred for their protection. Definitely not me holding a penis-nana. And the reporter. This really happened.

What’s the most interesting celebration you’ve attended?  
Tell me about it in the comments!

today’s little language lesson
tabeteiru mono o shiteimasu ka?

do you KNOW what you’re eating?

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