Ikazuchi no Daihannya

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Ikazuchi no Daihannya

This curious festival sees the young men of Kasai dress up as women, put on deep-red lipstick, and go from house to house chasing away evil spirits. The origins of this yearly event are disputed, but legend tells both of a priest going around the area to prevent the spread of cholera in the late Edo era, and of a man who dressed up as a lady to scare away the spirits who had troubled his sister with tuberculosis. Whatever the truth may be, this is certainly one of those Tokyo festivals that everyone should attend at least once.