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Reservations for Naked Man 2009 now open!

The time has come, lovelies, to send in reservations for a spot on the buses for that quite mindbogglingly Japanese festival, Naked Man.

The full and complete details from Richard, the fabulous OkaJET President are under the cut.

Every year on the third Saturday of February, the town of Saidaiji in Okayama Prefecture hosts one of the most popular and famous hadaka matsuri (naked festivals) in Japan. In English, it is commonly called "Naked Man." Thousands of men, dressed only in fundoshi, similar to the "diapers" worn in sumo, brave the winter cold to participate in a tradition hundreds of years old.

The participants, of which there were 9000 in 2007, run around the temple grounds, periodically passing through purifying water. As midnight nears and steam rises from the now quite warmed-up throngs of "naked men," more than ten thousand spectators wait for the lights to go out and shingi, lucky sticks, to be dropped into the crowd. For several intense minutes, the men struggle for the shingi, attempting to be one of the lucky few to make it off the temple grounds intact and holding the prize.

An article about 2007's event:
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20070318x2.html

For foreign residents of Japan it is a legendary and oft-attended event. Turnout is always high and a good time is had by all. Okayama's AJET chapter has won the National AJET award for best multi-prefecture event three years in a row for Naked Man, and we intend to make it four this year with the highest turnout ever.

That's where you come in. We want you and everyone you know to come with us to experience one of the most uniquely Japanese events around. This event is open to everyone interested in coming along with us: JETs, Japanese people, friends, lovers, and enemies.

When and Where

Saturday, February 21 on the west side of Okayama Station. The runners bus will be boarding at 7pm sharp. The spectators will board one hour later at 8pm. Don't worry if you aren't familiar with the area. We will provide phone contacts and maps at a later date.

Cost

The price for spectators is 3000 yen (2500 for Okayama AJET members). This gets you a ride to the event and back to Okayama station, as well as a ticket to a good place to watch the action.

The price for "runners" is 2000 yen (1500 for Okayama AJET members) This gets you a ride to the event and back, plus of course the expert guidance of the AJET volunteers. We haven't lost anyone yet! Runners will also need 3000 to 4000 yen pocket money to pay for your fundoshi and tabi, as well as someone to expertly jam it up your oshiri in true Japanese style. You might also want money for "refreshments."

RSVP and Payment

If you would like to make a reservation, email nakedman2009@gmail.com You may reserve for yourself and as many other people as you like. In the email please include name(s), type of participation for each person (spectator or runner), and your location if you are coming from outside of Okayama Prefecture. When we receive your email we will send a confirmation within a day or so. When you have received my confirmation please pay by postal furikomi.

Our account information is as follows:
Account #: 15420-14842081
Account name: AJET Okayama Shibu or AJET 岡山支部

All reservations and payment are due Saturday, February 7. No exceptions.

Other Information

If you have any questions please contact us at nakedman2009@gmail.com We encourage everyone to get a big group together from their areas, AJET groups, friends, teaching staff, etc. Get your PE teacher to show off just how tough he really is.

Please note that no person with a tattoo, even if it is covered up by bandages etc should apply to be a runner. The temple who holds the event's rule, not ours.

This year like every year there will be an AJET Stonewall event before the festival for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered participants. If you'd like more information please contact us at nakedman2009@gmail.com. This year the Stonewall coordinators and Okajet will be working together on this joint event.

We will be sending further information in the coming weeks.

Good luck and ganbatte!
Okayama AJET Committee

Come join us, people. You know you want to see 9000 naked men fight over sticks in the freezing cold.

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September 2010

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