Saturday, January 10, 2009

New years

Basically, this is a response to an e-mail from a friend.
I started typing it on my cell phone but my thumbs started to hurt.

New years was fun. Me and a friend inadvertently paid 7000 to get into a club and then just danced and drank. unfortunely no midnight kiss/new years sex Tokyo girls are cold as iceeeee

as for nudity, on the 3rd there was a big festival at 筥崎宮 called 玉せせりthat a friend of mine invited me to. I thought it was just to watch but no-no they want me to *participate* in it. So i strip naked in some random house in 箱崎 that I suppose my friend has some relation to, and some half-deaf japanese granpa puts on "traditional japanese underwear" which is basically a poor-mans sumo belt-just two pieces of thin, white cotton. I guess its a good thing he tied it tight, being the only thing between my manhood and the outside world, but-i kid you not-my balls are still sore today.

Then we all march outside barefoot, to the shrine to PRAY TO GOD YOU WONT GET KILLED and then to the street in front of the shrine to discuss strategy and wait for the だませせりto begin while having buckets of "力水" splashed on us by "supporters." It was a warm day with a cloudless sky, which is a good thing because apparently last year it was snowing.

Basically the だませせり is one guy gets on top of another guy's shoulders who are then supported by one guy in the front and two in the back. "You'll get it when you see it." As close as I could tell, the goal is to get the tama-a wooden ball a bit bigger than a basketball, and put in a hole somewhere in the shrine. "Where's the hole?" "Down there" "K, thanks." Oh, and by the way,When you get the tama you also have to raise it towards the heavens and praise the Kami and your ancestors for not having gotten killed. yet. And don't take your eye off it, because if someone drops it and it lands on yer foot, it hurts. a lot.

We waited for about 15 minutes, and down the street, I could see a brown ball on top of a clump-well actually "clusterfuck" is a better word-a ball on top of a clusterfuck of maybe 20 men, and soon it was my turn to join in the excitement. i mean join the CULTURE! I first started in the front as the kind of driver and we bumped around the clusterfuck for a few minutes before the "horse"-he was in fact called the horse- got tired and we switched. This went a couple rounds, and we got the ball a couple of times, but soon-guess who's number was up? So, I mount up my faithful steed-a japanese man I had no more than an hour ago and was now placing my nuts a cotton cloth's width away from his head.

Now, more then ever I felt the tightness of the belt, but quickly forgot as my steed rose and carried me forward toward the clusterfuck. The Tama is near. Now, it is within reach. I grab it and pull it away from my foes. I lift it in the air. Oh my god I have the Tama! I have the Tama! Now what? Ok, pass it to the next guy!

This experience was not unlike many middle school PE classes. "Oh i have the ball! Finally! I got the ball! I don't want this responsibility; get this fucking ball away from me!" I could have held it longer, being relatively taller and longer limbed than most of the Japanese guys participating, but I was told later that at that shining moment when I had the Tama in my hands, the camera shutters went crazy-the one white in an orgy of japanese men. INTERNATIONALIZATION DEKI-motherfucking-MASHITA!

Anyway they let me down, and next it was my turn to be the horse. Japanese men are not big, but carrying any grown man on your shoulders is no easy task. Especially barefoot. on gravel. Reaching for the ball, he thrusted his pelvis to thrust forward, into the back of my head, forcing it forward so I couldn't lift it to see the Tama. To support my neck, I put my forehead on the shoulder of the man in front and trusted him to steer. All I could see was his bare shoulders, and within ten seconds I was about to fall over from the weight. All i could do was hold on and chant with the rest of the clusterfuck "yo-SHOI yo-SHOI." words of power. I don't know how long had passed, and i tapped my head to indicate to my teammates I needed to change. As the three men in front and back of me moved away, my legs crumpled beneath me and i went down on my side. My rider fortunately, got away fine. I stood up, disoriented. "Daijobu?" "Un, Daijobu."

We were nearly at the gate of the shrine, and someone dropped the ball. The man who picked it up carried under his arm like a football and made a break for the gate-only to be rebuffed by the cluster. Now I could see where the goal was--through a square hole in the door, I could see a priest, dressed in his sunday best, standing behind the door waiting to recieve the tama. Everyone is gathered in front of the gate, packed in like a tokyo subway, some people even standing on the wood beams of the gate chanting yo-shoi, and grabbing for the ball. We passed the ball around the group a few times before we put it through the hole to give to the priest, and every time someone grabbed it, the cluster of men let up a cheer. After a few times around, someone finally put the ball through the hole and the cluster let up a big cheer, and began to move away from the gate, back where we came.

Walking back was a relief that it was over. As we walked, the crowd started singing a traditional song that marked the end of the matsuri. As we were walking, i noticed how cold i was, as I had been continually splashed with "力水" throughout the ordeal. Next was the remedy-a nice traditional japanese bath-with about seventy other dirty sweaty men. The bath house was a tiny shack on the grounds of the jinja. After waiting in line, i hopped in the bath. The bath itself was maybe about 1 meter square and about 1 meter deep. The bath water, already quite dirty from the groups who had gone before me, only filled up half the bath when empty, but was overflowing when you 20 men got packed into it. One more round of the song to make how long we took a bath before it was the next groups' turn.

Afterward, we walked back to the house, and after taking off the Fundoshi (magic underwear), took another bath, this time with only one other japanese guy, and then ate a big lunch and got really drunk with the girl who invited me and everyone in our group.

It was fun.

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