Friday, February 8, 2008

The Chosen One

For a man who just found out that he is the God Man Mr. Ogawa Tomoyoshi doesn’t look too happy. But then again, the job of Shin Otoko during the Konomiya Hadaka Matsuri has its risks. Being completely naked in temperatures of 5 Celcius, surrounded by hundreds of semi-naked men who all franticly try to punch, push and pinch you to get rid of their bad luck for the whole of the recently started year, wouldn’t exactly be my cup of tea. Yet he has applied for the job out of his own free will and this year 4 other candidates had to be disappointed.

In the old days a hapless traveler would have been snatched from the road and, blue and bruised, kicked out of the village. Had that still been the case today I am not too sure I would have come here to photograph.

How will Mr. Tomoyoshi fare? That I hope to find out over the next two weeks as the Hadaka Festival progresses to reach its rather violent climax on the 19th of February.
Till then various other ceremonies will keep me busy shooting.

For once glad not to be chosen.

Not Here Anymore, Not Quite There Yet.

© Hans Kemp, 2008