Maneki Neko iron phallus Edo Japan
Rare iron representation of a phallic Maneki Neko
Superb model in the Shinto tradition
The piece is doubly gendered, masculine and feminine reminder effigies Okame
Beautiful patina and beautiful condition
The back of the piece is planned to incorporate a ball of incense
Wear of age
Japan Edo period, 18th century
Height: 9.5 cm
"The festival Kanamara Matsuri (or"iron penis festival ") is held annually the first Sunday in April in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. This Shinto festival, dedicated to fertility, a central representation for the penis. It is found everywhere and in different forms, such as statues in processions, but also in the pictures and decorations that adorn the city.
An old Japanese legend tells of a demon with sharp teeth had one day hidden in the vagina of a girl, and had successively castrated two young men during their wedding night. Then a blacksmith fashioned an iron phallus to break the teeth of the devil, and the subject became a holy relic.
An annual festival celebrating Shinto fertility was subsequently organized around this relic. The Kanamara Matsuri has the main sanctuary of the Kanayama, in Kawasaki City, whose center is a blacksmith with an anvil and a forge fire.
Formerly it was often frequented by prostitutes who came to pray for protection against venereal diseases.
According to historical records, the Maneki-Neko became popular in the second part of the Edo Era
Only during the Meiji era that is most frequently appeared in publications and in commercial establishments.
One explanation of this democratization is in the sex industry. Indeed, with the closure of Japan to the world, the merchant class to markedly improve his social status. The rising standard of living has led some of the appearance of pleasure district, for a class easier, and marked proliferation of brothels.
It was then common to find in it plateaus "good luck" which were displayed many "lucky" in the form of male sexual organ.
That's when Japan was keen to re-open on the world and become a modern power on the international level, the authorities saw it lucky with a jaundiced eye.
Not wanting to give a negative image of Japan, the Meiji government then banned the production, sale, and display of lucky talisman with phallic effigy, in 1872.
This coincides with the democratization of Maneki Neko, which then tend to spread."