The gyrating yoga instructor knelt and stroked the enormous wooden cock. I adjusted my loin cloth, then took a pull from the bottle of sake and watched in horror as the yoga instructor (penis-priestess?) pulled my darling wife closer and closer to the huge wooden wiener. Raquel shook her head, trying to protest but the cult of the phallus must be appeased!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I had no intention of wearing a loin cloth and stoically standing around with twenty other scantily clad Japanese men as my wife did gods-know-what to a ceremonial baby maker. That morning we’d watched kindergarteners compete in Sports Day for goodness sake!
Chaba had invited us to this ‘party,’ and sent us a flyer detailing the event. If I’ve ever felt a there’s a reason to learn Kanji, it’s to not unknowingly go to a men’s fertility festival. True, the poster had pictures of shafts of flesh carved from shafts of wood, but I thought the party was just near a penis shrine or something.
Instead I arrived to find the only other American shucking his clothes and slipping on a ceremonial loin cloth.
“Come on Joe, man up! You don’t go to penis party in the woods and not dance around naked!” Steve is nothing if not encouraging.
But he makes a good point. Life is better if you participate. So I purchased a ceremonial loin cloth, declined an invitation to help put it on, and slipped into the tent. I tied the string around my waste, pulled the long rectangle of fabric through my legs, around my manhood, and tucked the remainder of the over the string so the cloth dangled oh-so-eloquently in front of El Torito.
I emerged from the tent clothed only in the loin cloth, shoes, and my watch. Raquel tried valiantly not to melt into a puddle of giggles. Poor Raquel. What was to come was far more bizarre than any loin cloth. Steve asked how it felt and I admitted it was pretty nice. It’s totally adjustable, so no matter the size of your little guy, he’s comfortable, and standing around in a loin cloth is less awkward when everyone else is doing it. Sure, I was the only guy with a beard, chest hair, or tattoos, and the only other American understood everything they were saying, but hey, I belonged.
The man leading the ceremony (a bartender in the city park that I’ve bumped into at the grocery store) chanted from the top of the hill and Steve and I marched over to watch Japanese men meticulously tie a five foot penis to a wooden frame. The penis was frighteningly realistic. It even had a crack down the side that resembled a bulging vein. The package secured, we all grabbed hold of the frame and erected the penis into the sky.
We marched up the hill, the leader calling out Japanese sexual innuendos and us responding, Yatai! Yatai! We lifted the penis above our heads, rattled it, shook it, sang to it, and spun it in circles. Appeased, the penis-priest commanded us to march back down the hill. We followed a man twirling fire and the yoga instructor as they danced down the hill, beckoning to the dong.
At the bottom of the hill, we set the five-footer down near a fire pit and got down to the business of drinking. The leader pulled out a huge bottle of sake, took a long pull, and passed it around the circle. The last man spit a mouth full of sake into the fire. The alcohol made the flames burn brighter as he anointed a new, smaller cock with more sake. The bottle was set aside, and we formed a tight circle.
Suddenly we were all bent over, each man facing the barely concealed ass of the man in front of him. Before I had time to understand what was happening, the man behind me passed the three foot model between his legs, and into my arms. I caressed it, gripped it hard, and gave the cock to the ass in front of me. The cock went around and around and we all moved with it, careful to never let it touch the ground as we ceremonially fucked each other’s butts.
The yoga instructor wiggled her hips, cheered the cock on, and at some point dragged Raquel into the circle. We passed the penis around the two women as the yoga instructor danced, and Raquel made sure she kept her hands clapping, busy, and away from the damn thing.
But alas, her humble protests were in vain.
The leader called for us to stop and we returned the three footer to its rightful place next to the booze. We passed around another huge bottle of sake and chanted “Yatai, yatai!”
Then the chanting stopped. The yoga instructor pulled Raquel to the five foot veined behemoth we’d marched around with earlier. She cooed to it and continued to wriggle her hips as she pulled Raquel down next to it.
“She wants you to ride it.” Steve said.
Thanks Steve, but we figured that one out. Raquel shook her head as the woman tried to explain that it was for strength, and fertility.
“But I don’t want a baby!”
“Don’t worry,” she said, “this ceremony is good for a year.”
Drunk on sake and testosterone I offered my poor wife no escape. Gambare, I told her, do your best.
The only other woman at the festival, a mother with a tiny baby who looked nearly as uncomfortable as Raquel was pushed forward. Like deer cornered by a pack of wolves they looked for an escape. But seeing none, they surrendered and straddled the boner.
The leader called for the old heave ho, and the men all dropped to their knees and grabbed the frame that now held not only a monstrous penis, but a mother, her baby, my wife, and the excitable yoga instructor. I pushed my way next to Raquel, concerned for her safety instead of her embarrassment, and we lifted them all into the air.
They rode the cock as we wiggled it, shook it, and rattled it at the heavens. We briefly set it down and Raquel protested, “I don’t want to ride the fucking penis!” But the gods weren’t yet satisfied, so we hoisted them back into the vagina that is the night sky. There was more shaking, rattling, and a heart stopping moment where the men opposite me didn’t quite lift their side high enough and the riders almost tipped into the fire. We decided to call it quits.
We returned the penis and our sacrificial women to the earth, and I followed Raquel as she scampered off into the night.
The men lit up cigarettes, cracked beers, and put their clothes back on. The die-hards stayed near a fire and continued the ritual: they carved a daikon radish into a penis, danced to house music with a sperm cell, and fed us rice balls as they pointed flash lights in our faces and stared at us without blinking. I was the first man offered a rice ball, and had no idea what to do, so I ate it, unsure if I had just completed a ritual, committed an egregious taboo, or consumed ceremonial semen.
Even at penis parties, I think the old ways are best. I never doubted what I was doing as I hoisted my wife into the air riding that phallus. It was for fertility and strength and was undeniably hilarious. In contrast, the techno sperm dance and rice ball stare off were confusing and uncomfortable. That’s the strength of traditions that last: we keep erecting Christmas trees or penises because it feels right. All that modern stuff is just pissing in the wind.
Chaba offered us lodging in his tent and Raquel looked at me with murder in her eyes. Neither of us wanted to see any of these men in the light of day, so despite not getting any photos, we made our exit.
After all, we had a fertility ceremony to complete.
Joe Darris Mitchell lives in Takayama Japan with his darling (and undeninaly patient) wife. When he’s not making love to the heavens, he’s a teacher of all things. If you liked this story, read more about Chaba, or cultural acceptable nudity in Japan!