Image 1 of 1

JAPAN NAKED RITUAL 12D.jpg

Men dressed in only a "fundoshi" cloth thong run through the snowy streets during the Hadaka Mairi in Yanaizu, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. The winter ritual, variations of which exist throughout Japan, is undertaken by males alone as a purification ritual. It has its origins in an ancient folk legend, in which the people of Yanaizu underwent a quest to drive away the Dragon God, who lived in the Tadami River, which flows through the town, and who had entered the town in order to steal the treasure of Enzoji Temple, where the main event of the Hadaka Mairi is held. It has been an annual tradition for more than a thousand years.