early 20th century bamboo carving of an lively Ghost Eater Shoki, whose back view
appears to be a large phallus. The front view depicts the God is laughing out
loud, while rolling up his
sleeve and showing off his muscular arms. The
animated facial expression of the deity is amusingly charming. Along
with the curvature flows of his robes, and a crescent moon-shaped chopper in hand,
the figure is keenly realized with a highly compact design.
the Judge of Hell is a Buddhist deity commonly worshipped as a demon queller in
China and Japan. He is frequently shown in an aggressive pose slaying demons with
drawn sword. As a talisman with parallel power that averts evil, the phallus symbol
is equally cherished in Japan. Traditionally the Shinto Festival of the Steel
Phallus (Kanamara Matsuri) is held each spring in the city of Kawasaki.
Elsewhere in the town of Komaki, a fertility festival is celebrated with a 96
inch long wooden phallus parading from shrine to shrine through the city. It is
believed that the phallus can frightens off demons, offers divine protections
and prosperity, matrimony harmony and fertility as well as safe childbirth.