Hadaka matsuri have existed for several centuries and are held in many places in Japan, sometimes in summer but mainly in winter. This is perhaps the most paradoxical side of Japan: known for their reserve, shyness, and their lack if not dislike of physical contact, the Japanese appear quite different when they participate in a matsuri festival. These holidays differ slightly from one region to another, but all are led by men no women in these celebrations of virility! Wearing a short loincloth called fundoshi that serves as a thong. Summer festivals often involve parading a mikoshi portable shrine through the streets or sometimes carrying it to the sea. See : Shintoism. The festivals that take place in winter include a purification ritual with water most often with ice water! Formerly rites of purification or initiation, some of these festivals have become real shows, attracting thousands of people.
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Shinto , [a] also known as Shintoism or kami-no-michi , [b] is a religion originating from Japan. Classified as an East Asian religion by scholars of religion , its practitioners often regard it as Japan's indigenous religion. Scholars sometimes call its practitioners Shintoists , although adherents rarely use that term themselves. Shinto is polytheistic and revolves around the kami "gods" or "spirits" , supernatural entities believed to inhabit all things. The link between the kami and the natural world has led to Shinto being considered animistic and pantheistic. The kami are worshiped at kamidana household shrines, family shrines, and public shrines. The latter are staffed by priests who oversee offerings to the kami and the provision of religious paraphernalia such as amulets to the religion's adherents. Other common rituals include the kagura ritual dances, age specific celebrations, and seasonal festivals.
The image is widely venerated by Brazilian Catholics , who consider her as the principal patroness of Brazil. The building in which it is venerated was granted the title of minor basilica by Pope John Paul II in , and is the largest Marian shrine in the world,  being able to hold up to 45, worshippers. Controversy about the statue was ignited in May by an intruder who stole the clay statue, which was smashed as he was apprehended, from its shrine, and again in , when a Protestant minister insulted and vandalized a copy of the statue on Brazilian national television. The fishermen, having a run of bad luck, cast their nets in the River Paraiba and dragged up a headless statue of the Virgin Mary. They also salvaged the head and, according to the legend, then netted plenty of fish. The first chapel was built in Devotion to the statue grew rapidly, particularly among Afro-Brazilians , not only for its black Madonna status, but also because it was reported to have performed a miracle for an enslaved young man.
Head priest Kotetsu Yamada says that he wants to dispel the old-fashioned and boring image of the temple to appeal in particular to young women, and so the temple has teamed up with Kyoto-born artist Ryoko Kimura to create scrolls of art depicting five famous historical and mythical figures -- bathing naked together. The scrolls match up perfectly with Ryoko Kimura's specialty, which includes replacing the courtesans and other women in found in traditional Japanese art with handsome men, of erotic art. The artwork features handsome anime-style depictions Uesugi Kenshin a 16th century warlord , Musashibo Benkei a brigand monk , Ryokan Taigu a Zen master Minamoto no Yoshitsune a 12th century general , and Shuten Doji a drunken demon leader naked, with deliberately placed flowers and towels covering their privates. All five figures have some historical relevance to the temple.