I've just got back from Konomiya, where the pillar-raising ceremony and the naoinin or shin-otoko selection ceremony has just taken place.
A new wooden pillar (shime-bashira) with the words naoi shinji is erected in front of the main gateway (mon) to the shrine on the second day of the lunar new year.
This year four candidates appeared to be selected by lot for the dubious "honor" of being chosen as the shin-otoko for this year's Konomiya Hadaka Festival.
Konomiya's Hadaka Matsuri is a mass purification rite and has its origins in an attempt to dispel an outbreak of plague in 767. Upto 10,000 men dressed only in white loin-clothes will attend on the main day of the festival.
The Konomiya Hadaka (Naked) Festival takes place this year on February 26.
Konomiya is small town just outside Nagoya and the first stop on the Meitetsu express train from Nagoya Station to Gifu.
Access: Take a Meitetsu Line train from Nagoya Station bound for Gifu to Konomiya Station (north exit and then a short 3-minute walk) or a JR Tokaido Line train from Nagoya Station to Inazawa Station and then a 15-minute walk to Konomiya shrine.
1-1-1 Konomiya, Inazawa city
Tel: 0587 23 2121
Festival Happi coats