Japanese festivals and food in Nagasaki and Aichi

I am trying to help someone out. Can anyone tell me anything about the
history, meaning and significance of these festivals: the
Inazawa Hadaka Matsuri (Naked man festival) and the Nakizumo (baby
sumo wrestlers)? Can you also tell me about Japanese foods from Nagasaki and Inazawa?
Lastly, what can you tell me about the conflict between the ancient
and the modern in contemporary Japan? Thanks much!

This sounds to me like an opportunity for someone in Japan to create some content for our Library around these themes.

Hi, Allison. This is an interesting topic. These festivals are famous in Japan, but we don’t know about their origins. Here is my translation of Nakizumo. The source of this translation is Japanese Wiki.
Nakizumo(baby sumo wreslers) is a traditional ritual in Japan originated in Tochigi prefecture over 400 years ago. It is said that a shrine parishioner’s baby had passed away in 1580. Shinto priest had prayed for God for three days and nights and the baby revived! This shirine(Ikiko shrine) became famous for child rearing.
Nakizumo is held on the first Sunday after 19th September every year. Two babies are put in a ring by sumo wrestlers in a mock sumo match. The refree judges which baby cried harder. The baby with the louder cry is decleared winner. Some shrine adopt another rule that the first one to cry is declared the winner. More than 1000 babies participate in this event every year.

I didn’t know about Inazawa Hadaka maturi (Naked man festival). I serched it on the net and found some web pages and videos. I found that this traditional maturi(festival) is very famous and a big event.
Take a look the following web pages and videos. The pages and videos explained its history and meaning, but it’s hard for me to translated into English, becuase of most of the words and events are shinto religious words and tradition. It will be held on Feb.7th, this year (on Jan.13th by the lunar calender every year). One man is selected officially, he is a totally naked and shaved man. And over 9,000 men who almost naked tried to touch the main man for their good luck. There were 136,000 visitors there last year. (Wow ! )

http://www.city.inazawa.aichi.jp/ka_annai/hishokoho/foreign/e_machi/top.html (english)
http://www.inazawa-kankou.jp/ev/bana.cgi?no=71 (japanese)
国府宮はだか祭り ニュース映像2007.03.02 - YouTube
- YouTube
はだか祭の主役【儺負人=神男】 - YouTube (very good video, but in Japanese)

Hope this helps.

There are many nakizumo events all over Japan. This event is traditional shinto event.
“naki” means crying and “zumo” means traditional sumo wrestling.
It is held for babies’ good health and goof future.
Here are some videos of nakizumo (baby crying sumo) on Youtube.

I don’t remember that I was a baby sumo wrestler when I was a baby boy. (grin)

Hi again Allison!
Japanese foods from Nagasaki and Inazawa.
Nagasaki reminds me “Chanpon” and “Kasutera”. Those are very famous Nagasaki foods. Here is the web site about Nagasaki foods. (in English)

I don’t know about Inazawa foods, but according to the web page, Ginko nut is famous.
(bottom of this page)

I’m thinking about your last question. maybe later.
Hope this helps.

About your last question.
I live in a small community (about 100 families) and it’s located in relatively rural part of Japan. Most of our neighbors have been kept our traditions especially religious events for many generations. We keep our local Buddhist temple and our local shinto shirine in our village. There are several evnets in every years. Most of them are good for us for fun and friendship, but sometimes we feel too much work or too much effort to keep the traditional events. Especially people in young generation, they don’t care about the local religious events. But we need man power to prepare the events. Some of the young generations escape from our village because of too much works and too much no interest events.

It takes much cost to keep our local temple and shrine. When our local temple was rebuilt, each family had to pay a lot of money for it. However it’s very difficult for us to give up our traditional temple, because most people think we need to keep our local temple. Our past generations have kept our temple for long long years, our generation have to keep it. This is our small village story. I think that the big city is different.
I’m not sure that this is the answer to your last questions. Anyway hope this helps.
And thank you for a lot of homeworks, my tutor! (grin)