WaiWai: Ancient rice festival has reputation smeared by ‘therapeutic’ facial cream claims

This article is reproduced from the discontinued, but much loved Mainichi Waiwai column by Ryann Connell. Read more about this at the bottom of this article.

Note: Full Japanese Translation of this article is available below.

A Fukuoka festival dating back to ancient times is growing increasingly popular with Japan’s adult movie fans because it involves smearing gooey, white liquid all over the faces of participants, according to Cyzo (January).

For better or worse, words like “geisha” and “hara-kiri” have been joined in the global lexicon by “bukkake,” which has adapted a more specific meaning overseas rather that the original Japanese meaning of “to splatter.”

And the same adult movie world that spread the word is now getting behind the Oshiroi Festival held every December at the Oyamazumi Shrine in the Fukuoka Prefecture town of Haki.

Initially, the festival is a somewhat closed affair as the shrine’s parishioners gather at the main hall to have a feast.

As time goes on, Cyzo notes, the atmosphere becomes considerably lighter and soon men come along bearing containers.

Inside the containers is rice flour mixed with water to form a sticky, glutinous substance called oshiroi, which is where the festival gets its name.

Starting with the shrine’s chief priest, the men draw out handfuls of the gooey mess from the containers they’re carrying and smear it all over the face of all those taking part in the banquet, whether they like it or not, with results closely resembling what the adult video world refers to as a gansha, or facial shot.

Oshiroi is said to have a therapeutic effect on the skin, which has attracted a growing number of young women to the festival in recent years, Cyzo says, adding that it’s custom for both men and women to have their mugs daubed.

Since ancient times in Japan, there has long been a traditional to link farming and sex. In Nara Prefecture’s Onda Festival, a god-like creature with a long nose called a Tengu simulates making love to a traditional Japanese peasant woman called Otafuku, which means “lots of fortune.” During the ritual, the Tengu pours sake into a bamboo flute, which it waves around and splatters its contents over onlookers in an act that clearly mimics ejaculation.

In the Fukuoka festival, oshiroi’s rice base, Cyzo says, is said to serve the same purpose.

Japanese Translation: 「古来の米祭りはセラピー効果の洗顔クリームとして評判となっている」











(The Mainichi Waiwai column ran online from April 19, 2001 – June 21, 2008. It was a much loved form of entertainment amongst foreigner in and outside of Japan. To any reader it was obviously not serious news, but it was a set of articles that portrayed quite well how the Japanese tabloids actually write about their own country. In 2008, a small number of Japanese people bought it to the attention of rival news groups that Mainichi was running an anti-Japan column on its website. With the bad publicity, Mainichi was forced to shut the page down, and take punitive measures against the journalists that were working on it, claiming that it was receiving opinions that were critical of the column, such as “its contents are too vulgar” and “the stories could cause Japanese people to be misunderstood abroad”. A perfect example of how Japanese consider what they write in their own script to be an acceptable secret code, that the rest of the world cant understand. When that same tabloid rubbish gets inconveniently translated to English to make light of some aspects of the Japanese people, it gets canned. Stippy.com finds this unacceptable, and will reproduce as much of the Waiwai content as possible in order to bring it once again to our computer screens for a good laugh. Of course we claim no credit for this content, and attribute it to it’s writers who were former Mainichi employees. Waiwai in its true and glorious form has been discontinued, but it’s legacy will live on at stippy.com for all to enjoy.)

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