An elderly Japanese man prays at Tagata shrine. (All photos: Jonathan Adams/GlobalPost)

KOMAKI, Japan — It's springtime in Japan and that means Penis festivals and vagina festivals.

It may sound like a gag, but these folk rites date back at least 1,500 years, into Japan's agricultural past. They're held annually to ensure a good harvest and promote baby-making.

  • An elderly Japanese man prays at Tagata shrine. (All photos: Jonathan Adams/GlobalPost)
  • Festival participant waits next to the six-and-a-half foot long phallus, carved from Japanese cypress.
  • Men strain under the weight of the massive phallus.
  • The giant phallus is spun around.
  • A float carrying the sacred vagina arrives by truck at Ogata shrine.
  • Men bear the giant vagina to the Ogata shrine at the Hime-no-miya Grand Festival in Gakuden, Japan.
  • Two men inspect the sacred vagina.
  • Decoration on one of the floats in the vagina festival, Gakuden, Japan.
  • Festival participant poses with penis.
  • Festival participant poses with young woman and penis.
  • Japanese festival goer poses with penis carving.
  • Japanese girls pose with penis candies.
  • Japanese girls pose with penis candies.
  • Penis festival goers have fun with penis-shaped candies.
  • Young boy dressed in ceremonial garb poses for pictures at Ogata shrine.
  • Penis- and vagina-shaped ashtrays on sale.
  • Vendors of penis and vagina-shaped candies.
  • Wooden phallus-carving vendor.

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