On the first Sunday in every April, a magical holiday is celebrated in Japan. It calls attention to a body part that has been both hailed in moving pieces of music, meticulously theorized upon by Sigmund Freud and other misogynistic researchers, and chiseled off priceless works of art in moral outrage.
The festival is called the Kanamara Matsuri, which stands for “Festival of the Steel Phallus,” and it’s a festival of celebration of the penis. The festival has been held every year since 1977 at the Kanayama Shrine Kawasaki, Japan, where prostitutes go to pray for protection against sexually transmitted diseases and couples go to pray for happy marriages, healthy fertility and easy childbirth.
The world’s most famous sausage festival originally began in commemoration of the ancient Japanese legend that said a sharp-toothed demon (otherwise known as a vagina dentata) lived inside the vagina of a young woman, which then bit the penis off of two young men when they tried to have sex with her. So the young woman who had no desire to lose another would-be husband had a blacksmith create a giant penis out of iron to break the demon’s teeth, and it worked!
The Japanese erected a statue (come on, you knew that was coming) in honor of the heroic iron phallus, and now, here we are.