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The thousand-year-old ‘naked festival’ in Japan was wiped out because of population aging

Avatar of Nick John By Nick John Feb18,2024 #Japan #population
The thousand-year-old 'naked festival' in Japan was wiped out because of population aging 3
The thousand-year-old 'naked festival' in Japan was wiped out because of population aging 3

Hundreds of men wearing traditional loincloths on the evening of February 17 competed for a sacred bag containing wooden talismans during the Sominsai festival at Kokuseki temple in Iwate province, northern Japan.

This is also the last time Kokuseki Temple holds Sominsai.

`It is very difficult to organize an event of such scale. The festival looks very interesting, but it comes with a series of rituals and work that needs to be done behind the scenes. I cannot ignore the current difficult reality.

People participating in the Sominsai festival at Kokuseki temple, Iwate province, Japan on the evening of February 17.

Sominsai is one of the most famous and oldest festivals in the northern region of Japan, usually taking place from the night of the 7th to the morning of the 8th of the first lunar month.

The event took place when the weather was still very cold, to test the endurance and sincerity of the attendees.

The event was scaled down during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Toshiaki Kikuchi, who won the sacred bag and has participated in organizing the festival over the years, expressed hope that Sominsai will return in the future.

Many participants and spectators also expressed sadness when the event was suspended.

A series of similar festivals across Japan also adjusted regulations to maintain the organization, such as allowing women to participate in events that were only for men in the past.

Population aging in Japan is happening faster and faster.

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