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Japanese women joins the ‘naked festival’ at a shrine in central Japan

In a historic development, Japanese women have, for the first time in nearly 1,250 years, joined the “naked festival” held at a shrine in central Japan.

Adorned in purple robes, women enthusiastically chanted as they carried a sizable bamboo trunk to offer during the ritual.

Seven groups of women took part in the ceremony, where participants prayed for happiness. Despite the event’s name, participants do not actually disrobe. Instead, the rituals are believed to ward off malevolent spirits.

The women wore “Happi Coats,” which are robes that extend to the hips and are typically worn during Japanese festivals.

“I heard that women could participate, so I definitely wanted to take part to help bring excitement to this town and festival,” said Emi Tachibana, a 59-year-old civil servant and one of the participants, as quoted by Reuters news agency.

Naruhito Tsunoda, a priest at the shrine, mentioned that women had been allowed to partake previously, with some even making individual offerings in the past. However, when a women’s group inquired about joining the event last year, granting permission was straightforward.

“I believe the most important thing is for there to be a fun festival for everyone. I think God would be happiest about that too,” he remarked.

Nevertheless, the women did not participate in the festival’s main event, where a large group of men traditionally clash together to drive away evil spirits.


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