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The Naked Festival of Japan

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Splashing Around at Japan's Naked Festival
Men compete at the naked festival.

Men compete at the naked festival.

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The 500-year-old Hadaka Matsuri at the Saidaiji Temple in Okayama, Japan wasn't always a quest for plain old sticks.

Originally, men who participated in this "naked festival" fought over paper good luck charms called "Go-o."

But you know what happens to paper when naked men fight over it.

Actually, I don't know what happens to paper when naked men fight over it, but apparently it doesn't hold up very well -- so according to Somewhere in the World Today, they changed over to more durable wooden sticks.

If you don't happen to be lucky enough to get lucky sticks, all's not lost.

There are consolation prizes at Saidaiji Temple's Hadaka Matsuri: More than 100 bundles of willow strips are also tossed into the crowd.

With more than 9,000 men at the festival, though, you still have to be pretty lucky to get one.

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