22 August 2012

Festival Scenes

It's easy to forget, in the context of this blog at least, that the fundoshi is often a ceremonial garment -- as proper as a necktie, as utilitarian as socks.  In these Shinto ceremonies, not any old twist of fabric, ragged loincloth, or BVDs will do: fundoshi is specifically required.

Some of this has to do with the sheer amount of physicality and exertion that takes place as saké-soaked participants run through the snow, clamber up ropes, hoist heavy mikoshi shrines onto their shoulders, or frolic in the water and mud while hoisting friends and strangers alike into the air.

No doubt, the support and security of a fundoshi has helped stave off many injuries, and protected countless genitalia from the sometimes violent "naked" festivals.  We should remember that, and revere the fundoshi, just as we revere the bodies wrapped up inside it.



Fundoshi Guy in Philly said...

Love the last pic. The coir rope tucked in through the fundoshi waistband showcases the wearer's butt assets very nicely.

John said...

Good point. While we appreciate the style, the feel, the functionality of the fundoshi, for the Japanese, it is a connection to an ancient past and a means of coming together as a people. In the west, only Native Americans have similar traditions which connect them to the past and ultimately to who they are. By not having such roots, we can see how we go in a thousand directions as a society unhinged.

Fundoshi 4 All! said...

How much fun would it be to clamber around in just a fundoshi, not at a festival or anything but just on an adventure? It could be great to stage "Fundoshi Adventures" with some friends. Maybe something along the lines of capture the flag, late at night with flashlights and fundoshis?

John said...

I have gone hiking with friends, each with a backpack and a fundoshi. It's a real feeling of freedom and quite relaxing. Getting a little goofy as you suggest, with body contact would be great! Winners get spanked would be a nice twist too.