Big in Japan: Giant wooden penis carried down mountain for fertility fest

A penis festival is clearly no hard-sell in Japan as crowds gathered at the Osawa hot springs in Hanamaki Sunday to celebrate the annual Konsei Fertility festival.
The main attraction – an enormous wooden penis – was carried through the streets before being bathed in the hot springs. The wooden deity, referred to as the ‘Konsei-sama,’ is meant to bless reverents with fertility and safe births.

Women hoping to get married or pregnant (or both) typically ride the wooden phallus once it is placed in the water in the hope that some of its good fortune will rub off on them. The wooden penis, carved from a zelkova tree, is normally stored in the nearby Konsei Shrine high in the mountains, but is brought down to the hot springs during the winter months.

Dozens of people celebrated the Konsei Festival in the Osawa hot springs in Hanamaki on Sunday. Local men carried the big wooden deity, also referred to as the “Konsei-sama”, to the rhythm of traditional music. According to local believes the ritual brings fertility and safe births. read more

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