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Yanaizu's Nanokado Hadaka Mairi

One of Japan's most famous Naked Man festivals

In a singular, quiet village in Fukushima Prefecture, local male citizens welcome the arrival of a new year in a fantastic way. Last year, myself and a few pals drove up to the village of Yanaizu, a small town famous for its yellow manju, the nationally esteemed modern artist Saito Kiyoshi, and its yearly Naked Man Festival, the Nanokado Hadaka Mairi, which is celebrated every 7th of January.

To win good luck for the new year, men participating in the Yanaizu Hadaka Mairi await the night's trial with sake (rice wine), strip naked down to a fundoshi​ (loincloth), and at the loud strike of the bell of Enzo-ji Temple, begin their barefoot climb through meters of snow and up 113 steps to a large Buddhist temple atop the Tadami River's steep bank.

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