Posted by: uvahowes | October 5, 2009

Some stolen photos of a fertility ceremony!

One of the few legitimately interesting things that I’ve done since I got here was witness a fertility ceremony in nearby Ueno Park. The general idea, as far as I can tell, is that by burning dolls you can increase your fertility. A little strange, but the ceremony is run by local monks who are captivating in their intensity.

The ceremony begins near a religious-looking statute. The monks toss colored scraps of paper into the air while chanting along with what I can only guess was a head monk who had a microphone. After about 5 minutes of recitations the monks move to a large roped off area located near the original building. I don’t think there’s any reason for this other than the gigantic fire hazard that was about to be had.

Some preliminary dolls are torched, and then each participant comes up to a series of incense burners and submits their doll to an assistant who chucks it into the blaze. The fire was huge, and smelled like burning plastic.

All kinds of people participated, both women and men. After everyone with a doll was finished a group of little school children lined up to pray infront of a mini brazier. Little early to be thinking about fertility, haha.

A group of us went shortly after the preliminary language exam, which is why I was without camera. The same classmate took pictures of the baseball game I went to on Friday so I will have to borrow some of those pics for a later post!



  1. Pictures?

  2. Never mind! The pictures didn’t load at work but I can see them at home. Nice.

  3. Yeah unfortunately I have these linked off of Facebook, so anyone viewing the site from a location that blocks access won’t be able to see the pictures. I will transfer future stolen pictures to my own server, haha.

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