Paranormal Housewife

Not Your Mother’s Rock Garden (18+)

While Jeremy was making dinner on Valentine’s day, I was researching the fertility festival. During my research I found out there was a very interesting shrine in Yamaguchi Prefecture (the prefecture we live in). It is a phallic shrine. Welcome to Japan… Where the weird just gets weirder.We decided that we had to go see it. So we went the very next day.

Since the shrine was over three hours away one way, this would technically be our first road trip together in Japan. We were really excited because it suddenly started snowing shortly after we started driving out there. We passed some beautiful scenery.

 

Along the way we stopped off at a Lawson’s (similar to a 7-11) for refreshments. Jeremy found season one of The Flash and Green Arrow. I found chicken nuggets stuffed with cheese. They were delicious.

 

The hard part of our trip was that when we left Iwakuni, we didn’t really have an address for the shrine. I had learn that it was called Mara Kannon Shrine in Nagato. So we figured we would drive in the direction of Nagato and see if we could find. Worse case scenario, we would stop and ask for directions when we got to Nagato. We stopped at what appeared to be a visitor center in Hagi. It was really interesting because of all the samurai statues. I would like to learn more about Hagi and the significance of the statues at some point.

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I was so happy when we were leaving the visitor center because while trying to google Mara Kannon Shrine again IT SUDDENLY POPPED UP WITH A PIN!!! Turns out we were only 20 minutes away!! I was so happy it would be easy to find it.

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Yes. We had finally found the Penis Shrine. Surrounding the shrine are various wooden and stone carved penii. Some were just basic carvings and some were very detailed.

 

We walked around the outside first trying to figure out what this was all for. We found a locked cage full of ceramic penii.

Finally we walked inside the shrine. At this point I was really wishing I had a Japanese friend to explain what the heck we were looking at. I still don’t know what most of the stuff was for.

 

While looking around inside we found a piece of paper that instantly turned this kind of creepy.

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“ORIGIN OF THE MARAKANNON

September 1, 1551

Mr. Yoshitaka Ochuchi of the 

Chugoku district was attacked and 

he killed himself at tainenji of 

Yamato hot spring.

After the two days his eldest son was

caught and murdered. 

His grave is in Kamianda.

His youngest child was dressed as a

woman  but was caught and murdered 

next spring.

People of this village was feeling

pity for them. They build shrine and

comforted of souls of them. 

Here is always crowding with people 

they prays for the properity  of descendant”

 

So this shrine with penii everywhere was built as a memorial for a father who committed suicide and the murder of his two sons… I’m still torn with how I feel about this.

 

While finding that paper sombered our adventure a bit, our day wasn’t over yet but I am going to save that for tomorrow.

This is the most I have ever written about genitalia…

By the way we did get some souvenirs…

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26 thoughts on “Not Your Mother’s Rock Garden (18+)

  1. OMG, the salt & pepper shakers! Awesome souvenirs! When I lived there I swear when things seemed absolutely ridiculous they became more ridiculous. My TV was all Japanese but the game shows were amazingly bizarre… granted, this was 1993/94 but still….

    1. I wish these were salt and pepper shakers. I will have to try to find some at the fertility festival next month. These are actually votive offerings. You’re suppose to leave them at the shrine with a prayer written on them.

      The TV shows are still bizarre and extremely perky. The other day I was a very chipper woman talking about the elderly having back pain (I think that was what they were talking because of the graphics). I need to watch more and see if I can learn the language through osmosis.

  2. Am I the only one who thought the souvenirs looked like salt-and–pepper shakers – and who visualised someone using them at the dinner table? Shake-shake-shake …

    🙂

    Actually, on a more serious note, I’m wondering if the reason this is a phallic shrine is that the youngest son had his penis cut off when captured, perhaps because he was dressed as a girl?

    (http://ojisanjake.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/mara-kannon.html#.VtNlQpx96Uk)

    Anyway, thank you for posting this – I’m always fascinated by the things that make us different 🙂

    GraC

    1. We have gotten a few salt shaker comments from friends. That would have been awesome if that was the case. I would proudly have those on my kitchen table much to my mother’s dismay. This is actually a votive offering. You’re suppose to write your pray on it and leave it at the shrine. Maybe when my husband and I are considering children we will go back and place some votives at the shrine.

      Thank you for website. It is an interesting theory and does make sense. I guess they weren’t too fond of him dressing like a girl.

  3. Hi Kelly! Thanks for following The Benthic Times. Paul and I hope you enjoy the stories. I’m really happy to discover your blog!! I taught in Japan for 14 years and loved living there. It’s always fun to hear about how other people are exploring the country. (Unfortunately, I never made it to the Penis Shrine… always wanted to go.) Have a great time discovering wonderful, wacky Nihon!! Looking forward to reading more.

  4. I know in Thailand, if you give a woman a penis statue/statuette it’s supposed to bring good luck with men! Lol but idk of its the same in Japan, that’s hilarious though!

    1. That is an interesting tradition in Thailand. I guess it’s good that I’m not in Thailand because I gave one of my friends a penis votive when we came back. She is very married and doesn’t need luck with men.

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