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Whipping custom at ancient Japanese festival

Video clip

Whipping at festival

With comments by C. Farrell

Japan -- Asuka Onda Matsuri festival (3 minutes)

Asuka in Nara Prefecture was once home to the rulers of Japan and is replete with ancient cultural symbols like temples, shrines, and archeological sites. There is also the Onda Matsuri annual festival celebrating the rice harvest and fertility.

One of the traditional customs at the festival is for men in monster masks to go around whipping the visitors' backsides -- men and women, boys and girls -- with a big stick like a kendo sword, but split at the end. Here, at the January 2012 festival, amidst much hilarity, the camera follows a couple of them around to record a sample of their endeavours.


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