Warabi Hadaka Matsuri (Warabi Naked Festival), also dubbed the "Doronko Matsuri" (muddy festival) is a bizarre festival held in Yotsukaido, Chiba Pref. As its name suggests, participants get covered in mud while praying for the year's good harvest.
This few-hundred-year-old traditional muddy festival is held at a rice field located right next to Kosanrei Shrine. Men in fundoshi underwear and bellyband enter the wet field after a purification ceremony. In the field, a frenzy breaks out where they throw, pour, and scatter mud in every direction.
You won't be gazing at the mud-fight for too long, for the men who have come out of the muddy field will now come after spectators, trying to smear mud onto their faces. Screams cry out, yet the muddy faces all seem rather joyful.
Lastly, the shrine's representative gets a muddy toss in the air, and the festival comes to a closure. You will surely be energized by the men who rampage through the rice field despite the cold under winter skies.
Highlighting the festival is this human-horse cavalry battle. Three men huddle-up to be the "horse" ridden by a "jockey" mounted on top. Then two of these units ram into each other in a cavalry style battle. The units of men are taken down instantly as they sink into the muddy fields, soon turning the scene into a mud-fight, where everybody's throwing against each other regardless of sides. At the end of the three-round cavalry battle, everybody becomes covered in mud from head to toe, that nobody's even able to recognize each other's faces.
Cheer them on as the men rampage through the mud!
Infants under the age of one are carried by the men in fundoshi underwear and smeared with mud from the sacred rice field, as a ritual of exorcism. Infants come wearing special garments for this special day. Observe the ritual held in order to wish for the healthy growth of the area's children.
Beware of the flying mud.
Come dressed in clothes you do not mind getting mud on, or bring a raincoat.
Do not park your car on the street.
Be careful not to fall into the sacred rice fields.
Access to Yotsukaido City
Yotsukaido Station, Sobu Main Line
address: 692 Warabi, Yotsukaido, Chiba Pref.
15 min walk from the south exit of JR Yotsukaido Station
Walk down Oyashiki street and turn left after the Kosanrei Shrine bus stop. The shrine is located 200m after the turn.
*No parking lots available
address: 192-23 Warabi, Yotsukaido, Chiba Pref. (located next to Kosanrei Shrine)
2 min walk from Warabigaoka-koen bus stop on the Wakamatsu Yotsukaido bus line.
*Please be aware that there are not so many buses each day.