Every year on January 13th of the lunar calendar, a peaceful and sleepy town of Inazawa, turns into the craziest place in Japan.
The Naoi Shinji (儺追神事) also known as Naked Man Festival, held annually in cold winter weather, is one of the oldest Japanese festivals dating back to the Nara Period (710-794 A.D.). Since the old days, the participants are men only, mostly of the ages 24, 42 and 61, which are considered unlucky in Japan. By taking part in the festival they are hoping to avoid the bad luck throughout the coming year.
I have been covering the festival for the last few years, and this year was no exception. Some of my photographs taken at this year’s festival can be viewed on the Nippon News website. Other, older photos, are published in my monochrome gallery here.
Also, recently I have been asked by my editor to start providing a short video footage in addition to my pictures, here is my first attempt…