Ten thousand men stripped off to take part in “Hadaka Matsuri”, an annual naked festival in Japan‘s Honshu Island.
The loincloth-clad competitors gathered at the Saidaiji Temple in Okayama Prefecture for the event to celebrate prosperity and fertility.
Their aim was to snatch one of two 20cm-long “shingi” wooden sticks thrown by a priest into the crowd.
The sticks, thrown among 100 bundles of twigs, are meant to bring a year of good fortune to whoever is lucky enough to catch them.
The ritual is thought to have started some 500 years ago.
Similar naked festivals are held throughout Japan every year, as part of a tradition that is said to stretch back 500 years.
The event also includes bathing in cold water for an hour or two to purify the soul.