Naked men Festival Japan

PhotographerKars Tuinder
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

I was able to attend a 500 year-old festival in Okayama Japan known as the Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri: the Naked Men Festival. In this celebration, a priest gathers among a crowd of almost nine thousand men to hurl two ceremonial sticks in the air. It is said that the men who catch them are blessed with a year of happiness, which is motivation enough for them to participate almost completely naked during the cold months of the year where temperatures reach 0 degrees.