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In Japan, There Is a Shrine for...Hemorrhoids

Illustration for article titled In Japan, There Is a Shrine for...Hemorrhoids
Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

The vast majority of festivals in Japan are not unusual. Then, there are some that are referred to as "kisai" (奇祭) or "strange festival." This is one of those.

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Even to people in Japan, these unusual festivals might appear odd. But in Shintoism, a religion without a dogmatic view of right and wrong (nobody is perfect!), it is important to amuse the kami, or the gods. Many of these strange festivals appear designed to do just that, so it's important to have a sense of humor about them and approach them with an open mind!

Illustration for article titled In Japan, There Is a Shrine for...Hemorrhoids
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According to IT Media, around seventy people attended the recent festival at Kunigami Shrine in Tochigi Prefecture. Japan has well over a hundred thousand Shinto shrines. This one appears to be the only one that deals with hemorrhoids.

Illustration for article titled In Japan, There Is a Shrine for...Hemorrhoids

Tradition states that those who washed their backsides and then ate egg offerings would be cured of hemorrhoids, reports Shimotsuke. The festival ceased back in 1988, but two years ago, it was revived. These days, instead of cleaning in the river, there is a "Butt Washing Stone" on the shrine's grounds. Participants turn their backsides to the stone and chant to cure their butts or to ensure that they never get hemorrhoids.

Illustration for article titled In Japan, There Is a Shrine for...Hemorrhoids
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Illustration for article titled In Japan, There Is a Shrine for...Hemorrhoids

There were also elaborately decorated eggs.

Illustration for article titled In Japan, There Is a Shrine for...Hemorrhoids
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Japanese site IT Media remarked about how unique this particular festival and shrine are and pointed out that it takes something with a rather gloomy image and creates an enjoyable festival, with everyone having a good time. Who knew hemorrhoids could be so much fun?

Illustration for article titled In Japan, There Is a Shrine for...Hemorrhoids
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Illustration for article titled In Japan, There Is a Shrine for...Hemorrhoids

痔の完治を願い、お尻を突き出し「けつぴたし!」 栃木の奇祭「じかたまじない」を痔患者が体験 [IT Media]

奇祭「じかたまじない」、痔の平癒願う 茂木 [Shimotsuke]

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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DISCUSSION

There were also elaborately decorated eggs.

It's like Easter, but with hemorrhoids! So for me, just like Easter.