Ningyo Kanshasai

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Ningyo Kanshasai

While it's usually events like the Kanamara Matsuri (better known to expats as the 'Steel Penis Festival') that get all the attention, there are other annual rites that, while perhaps less kinky, are in their own way just as bizarre. Take, for instance, this ceremony in which Shinto priests give thanks to battered children's toys for their years of faithful service, allowing their spirits to be free. There were 39,000 toys put up for exorcism last year, ranging from traditional Japanese dolls to Mickey Mouse figures. If you've got some of your own that you'd like to relinquish to the spirit world, they'll be accepting them from 9am, at a cost of ¥3,000 per bagful; the ceremony itself starts from 11am.

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